“Happiness is acceptance.” ~~unknown
“One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.” ~~Rita Mae Brown
“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” ~~Oprah Winfrey
Happiness is a habit I am developing.
Happiness is created, not waited for.
In our Program booklet, our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. states, “Happiness never came to me until I learned the secret of making it for myself, of finding an inner glow that somehow made all other things right.” Jean understood happiness was brought forth from within and created Statement #3 to shift thoughts of self-pity into self-contentment.
Here are 4 ways which can aid in creating happiness:
- Define what happiness means for you: In early sobriety, emotions can feel flat or difficult to name. Take a look back, what made your insides smile when you were younger? What made your heart sing?
- Let go of comparisons: Comparison kills the spirit, and squashes confidence. Comparing also puts your happiness in the hands of someone else. Instead of comparing, list your achievements and review them often.
- Recharge: Find ways to recharge yourself. Unplug the phone, TV, internet. Make yourself a priority, take a walk in the woods or connect with water. There is something uplifting about being in nature.
- Invest in yourself: Develop a meditative, journal or yoga routine, learn tai chi or karate, invest in your being. Dedication to inner and outer growth is an investment in the self.
What actions help you to create happiness in your life?
Hi 4C Women,
My definition of happiness changes as my life changes, as I age, as I experience new adventures and even loss. Now that last one might seem at odds with happiness yet I guess I can compare it to new sobriety when I felt I would never laugh or feel excited about life without alcohol to foster that feeling. When my mother passed away, all I felt was sadness and grief. I still miss her terribly and yet I am beginning to feel a smile cross my face when I reflect on our shared moments in life. I can look at photos and be grateful for the lessons she taught me without her knowledge. I had been sober for a while when she passed and I felt her whispering in my ear how proud she was of me and to keep my emotional and spiritual changes in tact to honor her. I have and that makes me happy. It’s amazing what unexpected places happiness and joy can grow from.
When it comes to practicing Karen’s #4 suggestion, I would like to add to do what you love. Practically speaking, we may not have the job we love yet we can bring joy into our lives with a creative talent, volunteer work, hobbies, dance lessons, joining a book club or any number of things that bring a new adventure into our everyday life.
Lastly, be patient with yourself as you work on developing the habit of happiness. It took a while to trade in my habit of negativity to allow the glimmer of that happiness to make its way into my thinking and life. I’m glad I didn’t give up because when tough times hit, I know I have a foundation of joy to hold me up.
Bonded in creating our own happiness,
4C WFS Member