Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stop Trying to Be Happy


By 

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

It seems counter intuitive doesn't it?  If you stop trying to be happy, are you purposely trying to be miserable?  It might appear that way at first glance.  

Everyone wants to be happy.  Our culture thrives on promoting happiness through products, experiences, relationships, sports, and the arts.  After all, if you're not happy, you're not really living right?  Maybe not.  

The point is that when you try really hard to be happy usually you fail.  The road to happiness begins with acceptance of what is NOT what we want life to be.  True, what is may not be what we want but denying that isn't going to make us any closer to being happy.  Happiness comes when we realize that,in spite of circumstances beyond our control, we can still choose to be happy.

How can you choose to be happy when you don't feel happy?  Why can't happiness just cover us like a warm blanket on a cold winter's night?  I don't claim to have the answers but I do know that it is a choice.  If you wait to feel happy, you may never experience it.  Make the choice and the feelings will follow.

This is important in recovery because most people use alcohol and drugs in the hopes of finding some sort of happiness respite from their world of pain.  It makes sense why they do it but they never remain happy because it doesn't work that way.  Sober people experience misery all the time.  In spite of it, they often choose to "look at the bright side" of things using the glass is "half full not half empty" perspective. 

Learning acceptance will help a person stay sober because they are not beholden to the whims of their emotions.  In other words, they can handle it when they don't feel happy 24/7/365.  The reality is that we are not supposed to feel that way all the time.  

In the end, remember that happiness is a choice and a state of mind.  Your choices influence your experience and your willingness to accept life as it is greatly effects your experience therein.  Today why not choose happiness in spite of what reality says and choose to believe that all will be well.  

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in detoxing people who are unhappy due to the power of drug and/or alcohol addiction that is destroying their lives.  We are honored to help people regain a sense of acceptance and happiness in their lives as they embrace recovery.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  We are here to help you and yours get clean and stay clean!

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