Sobriety can get complicated from time to time, but many people become happier than they have ever been in their life when they get sober. You need to learn how to change your mindset and actions in order to be satisfied with your new lifestyle. It starts by developing the right habits and establishing a good routine that works for you. Here are the top 10 habits of happy people in sobriety.
Habit #1: Surround Yourself With Positive People
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn told us that we are an average of five people. While it might not be quite as simple as that, we do tend to take on the behaviors and habits of the people and environment around us. If you surround yourself with people who exude positivity, you may notice an improvement in your own mindset. However, choosing to engage with toxic people can result in your own mind getting poisoned.
You have control over who you let in your life. Increase the time you spend with sober, happy people, and minimize the time you spend with people who use drug and alcohol. Surrounding yourself with sober people reduces the risk of encountering temptation, and those people can provide an encouraging example of how you can live your new life.
Habit #2: Manage Stress
We all experience stress in life due to our various responsibilities, and some people also have mental disorders that increase natural anxiety. Many people turn to drugs and alcohol due to this stress. A glass of wine or a mental escape can alleviate the tension building inside. However, drugs and alcohol only put a band-aid on the problem for a moment without actually resolving anything.
Proper stress management techniques can help you handle stressors throughout your day calmly and effectively while keeping your emotions in control.
Some common stress management techniques include:
- Going to yoga classes
- Connecting with nature
- Practicing aromatherapy
- Listening to soothing music
- Spending time with friends/family
- Having alone time
Additionally, you should minimize the number of stressors you face every day. Create a list of your responsibilities. Is there anything on the list that someone else can cover? It’s helpful to say no every now and then. You will feel less anxious, and your responsibilities will get the proper attention.
Habit #3: Practice Mindfulness
We tend to speed through life too quickly. When we do this, we fail to notice the small wonders that we encounter every single day. Mindfulness refers to the practice of being present in life and slowing down to smell the roses. When you practice mindfulness, you taste your food better, feel love more strongly, and appreciate beauty more intensely.
It takes time to learn how to practice mindfulness. You will see the best results when you take the time to learn the best mindfulness techniques and continue to employ them frequently every day until they become habits.
There are a number of ways to improve mindfulness. One of the best ways to do this is through meditation. You will learn how to focus on your breathing and your body. Soon, you will be able to apply this mindfulness to other aspects of your life.
Habit #4: Improve Your Self-esteem
Mistakes during the height of your addiction can hit your self-esteem hard. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to resolve negative feelings that you may have about yourself. However, there are some things that can help.
- Personal Affirmations: Affirmations are little sayings and phrases that you repeat to yourself to improve your self-image. Create unique affirmations for yourself based on your accomplishments and positive qualities, and recite them while you’re looking in the mirror in the morning. Continue to recite the affirmations when you experience doubt throughout the day. You can say the affirmations aloud if you have privacy or in your head when you’re in public.
- Self-improvement: People feel happy when they make improvements in their life, so work on achieving your dreams. Some positive, attainable goals that you could set for yourself include:
- Lose weight
- Finish school
- Develop new relationships
- Get a new job or promotion
As you improve your life, you will become proud of how far you have come.
- Self-love: You need to show yourself love if you want to improve your self-esteem. Make a point to do some things specifically for yourself. If you treat yourself to the spa or a night reading a book in bed, you will feel pampered. Ideally, you will feel like you deserve this kind of treatment and allow yourself to enjoy it.
Habit #5: Stay Busy
You should keep yourself busy every day, especially at the beginning of your sobriety. As the phrase says, “idle hands are the devil’s playthings.” When you allow yourself to get bored throughout the day, your mind could wander to dangerous places that encourage you to use again.
Fill your days with a number of responsibilities and activities. When you do find yourself bored or with spare time, write down goals that you have, new hobbies that you’d like to try, or tasks that you have to accomplish in the coming days. Try puzzles, books, and spending time with loved ones.
Habit #6: Get Spiritual
When you look at the beauty in the world, it’s hard to deny the existence of a divine creator. Whether it’s the god from Christianity or a more general higher power, people increase their happiness when they embrace a connection to the spiritual forces at play.
People join a church because churches teach messages of love, acceptance, and forgiveness. Many churchgoers abstain from alcohol and drugs, meaning that you will have positive influences around you, and a lot of churches organize social activities for their parishioners like Bible study, book club, hiking, and more. Plus, a lot of AA and NA meetings are held at churches.
You don’t necessarily need to dive into organized religion in order to get in touch with your spiritual side. Many people don’t believe in organized religion. However, you can still feel close to the universe by climbing a mountain, painting a picture, or exploring alternative practices. The idea is to connect to the universe. When you see yourself as part of something larger, it gives you a purpose to stay sober.
Habit #7: Diet and Exercise
Getting sober is all about getting healthy. You will feel better physically once you get clean, but that is just the beginning of your journey toward a healthy lifestyle. A good diet and exercise can increase your happiness. Also, when people put effort into their health, they will be less likely to throw away their progress by using drugs or alcohol.
A healthy diet requires a lot of discipline. You need to switch out chips and french fries for veggies and lean proteins. Exercise requires discipline too. Also, exercise takes a lot of time and a commitment to improving your body. Make time in your schedule to hit the gym a couple of times a week. While at the gym, make an effort to get your heart rate up. Set measurable goals, like losing 10 pounds. You can even meet new friends by signing up for events like a 5k race or a yoga class at the gym.
At Granite Recovery Centers, residents can use our state-of-the-art facilities, including a gym. We also allow residents to get exercise outdoors by taking group hikes and bike rides, among other fun activities.
Habit #8: Have Sober Fun
Some people make the mistake of thinking that they can’t have fun without drugs and alcohol. However, that’s not the case. You only need to have fun in new ways. Try new hobbies, explore your creativity, and go to places that you’ve never visited to learn what you enjoy the most.
Some new hobbies to try include:
- Video games
- Gourmet food
- Writing poetry
The options are endless, so keep trying new things until something speaks to you. Pick a hobby that limits temptation if possible.
Habit #9: Good Deeds
We have all been blessed in life. It’s our responsibility to give back whenever possible. Not only is it good to whoever benefits, but it can also increase happiness to do good deeds for others. When someone does good for other people, it triggers reward centers in the brain. By knowing that you did something to make the world a better place, it also makes it easier to look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day.
Start while in inpatient treatment by showing kindness to other people in recovery and helping them make progress in their sobriety. When you go home, visit people in your family who could use the company. Even a phone call can make a person’s day. After you finish your good deed, you will feel good about yourself for bringing joy into someone else’s life.
If you can, expand your good deeds outside of your social circle by volunteering at a local charity that aligns with your values. If you care about education, volunteer to tutor or teach reading. If you care about feeding the poor, volunteer at a soup kitchen.
Habit #10: Stay Sober
The key to happiness for people in recovery is to stay sober. This will require effort on your part. It’s your responsibility to continue treatment. You can do this by attending AA or NA meetings. You can also go to therapy. The key is to focus on both your addiction and your mental health.
Part of staying sober involves recognizing your triggers and working around them. Learn the people and things that make you want to use, and minimize their presence in your life. You should also eliminate temptation by getting alcohol out of your home and avoiding people and places that encouraged bad behavior.
Celebrate milestones in your recovery to encourage your progress. A small treat or dinner for yourself when you hit your milestones will encourage you to continue on your path of sobriety.
It starts with getting sober at one of our comfortable and effective treatment centers. Once you go through detox, you can start taking steps to become happy in your sobriety by incorporating these habits. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.
At Granite Recovery Centers, our goal is not only to help you become sober but also to become happy. Happy people are far more likely to remain sober, but it can take time to become happy again after a substance use disorder. It can be done with help from the team at Granite Recovery Centers.