Early on most people get the message that happiness is the thing we should all strive to attain. Then we grow up and wonder why happiness seems to elusive when everything is not so sunny all the time. Everyone else seems to be on a high that is something of a norm. Trouble is, life is not really like that at all, even if we expect it to be. When life is less than euphoric, we may end up chasing highs through drugs or alcohol to capture that essence of finding what makes us feel happy. When we accept that we feel bad it can help us grow more into who we are, and thus, produce an inner joy that does not come from outside ourselves.
In baseball, there are sub players; these players come onto the mound when someone is injured or to give another guy or gal a chance to play. Substitute teachers fill in when the regular teacher is not available. You can even sub in another word for ‘happiness,’ and liven up your vocabulary a bit. If you want to cultivate a sense of well-being, it starts with self-talk. Most of our emotional reactions to life come from the way we label an experience. We jump to conclusions about how we feel reather than noticing, processing, and coping in a healthy way. Newsflash: it is not always comfortable to experience ‘bad’ feelings. We have learned to numb them away with television, drugs, alcohol, and just about anything else you can imagine.
Notice Not Separation
We very easily want to separate our feelings from our bodies. This disconnec can happen from an early age when we are taught not to feel what we do at any given moment. We learn when it is appropriate to cry, and when it is not; we might learn when it is okay to express frustration, and when it is not. What helps cultivate a sense of listening to what you want comes from just noticing when a feeling arises and ask yourself some questions:
- What is happening in my body right now
- What emotion is this
- Acknowledge and assert that it is okay to feel this and if you let yourself feel it, you can still be okay
Ego can be a greatly destructive force in your ability to focus on inner happiness. Don’t let it be a thief in the night. The Western mentality is to not embrace the ‘negative,’ rather to push it aside. When you can experience and appreciate the good times, you can feel satisfied with life and focus on cultivating your inner space. The inner space is one where you begin to understand how you are made and learn to honor what feelings come up for you rather than numbing them away. When you do this, you take great strides to finding the happiness that perhaps has been so elusive to you all this time.
Sound Recovery supports your journey to recover with tailored programs and services that help you cultivate a space of inner knowing and peace. We will help guide you through the next steps to recovery. If you are struggling with addiction, let us help. Call us at 561-277-3088 to get started.