It’s easy to feel happy and carefree when life is going smoothly, but bumps in the road are inevitable, which pose risks for your recovery. When times get tough, it’s often easier to wallow and feel down on yourself than it is to be optimistic, but the best way to avoid slipping back into a life of addiction is to be happy. When you’re happy, there’s no need to change the way you feel.

If you feel like your happiness could use a boost, here are five ways to hit the “reset” button.

1. Learn to let go.

Holding on to the past is the biggest roadblock to recovery. You can’t change the past, and although acceptance is difficult, it’s possible. When you learn how to accept the past and let go of regrets and disappointment, you physically and emotionally free yourself from a cycle of negativity.

2. Stop comparing yourself to others.

We live in a world that’s hyper-focused on success, affluent lifestyles and expensive things, but comparing what you have to what other people have is of no benefit to you. It only leaves you feeling inadequate and dissatisfied.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with aspiring for more, but that pure joy that makes you feel at peace with the world and yourself comes from appreciating what you’ve already got: material things and otherwise.

3. Practice gratitude.

There are many benefits of gratitude, including improved physical and mental health and self-esteem, better sleep and increased empathy. Incorporating a daily gratitude practice into your life is as easy as ticking off three to five things you’re grateful for each morning: your family, your sobriety, the cup of coffee you’re about to drink–whatever you want. Better yet, write them down in a journal you can turn to on a tough day.

4. Take time for yourself.

When you feel bogged down, like you’re running in place, it’s usually a sign that you need to recalibrate by taking time for yourself. If you want to feel happy, you have to make your happiness a priority, so do things you enjoy and make them a part of your routine. Whether that’s going for a run every morning, reading for 30 minutes each night or cooking more nourishing meals, taking time to do something that makes you feel happy can make a huge difference in your overall mood.

5. Remember that you’re in control.

Happiness is a choice, just like any other emotion, and you’re in control. It’s much easier to blame someone else for causing the pain you feel instead of taking responsibility yourself. However, in doing so, you’re only perpetuating the mentality that your feelings are the result of someone else’s doing, and you’re only going to keep feeling hurt. When you take ownership of your feelings instead of blaming them on others, you can find inner clarity.

It’s also important to remember that you’re in control while interacting with people who put a damper on your happiness. There will always be people who rain on your parade, even if they aren’t doing it intentionally. Don’t let them get to you.

Learn how to handle life’s challenges

Life will always be full of challenges, but knowing how to handle them makes all the difference. When you understand that happiness exists within and all you have to do is tap into it, it can shift your perspective, which is especially important in recovery.

Immersion Recovery Center’s comprehensive approach to addiction recovery utilizes several therapeutic modalities that help clients take ownership of their feelings and find happiness, including cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and solution-focused therapy.

Our goal is to equip clients with the skills necessary to overcome negative thought patterns and replace them with healthy, more positive behaviors that improve self-esteem and self-worth. Contact an Immersion Recovery Specialist at 561.419.3349 to learn more about how our programs can help you or someone you love.