Sometimes, in order to become happier in general, you need to make some sacrifices
The normal person walking around tends to complicate life. As for addicts and alcoholics, as with most things, we take them to the extreme. We complicate our life to the point of being incapable of finding any happiness in it. Sometimes we do this for a day, sometimes we do it for a week, sometimes we do this for months on end. However long we do it, it ends up sucking the happiness out of our life and our sobriety. And then, all of a sudden life seems hard. What? What happened? Well you began adding too many things of your life that covered up your happiness. So….if you want to add some happiness to your life, you actually have to do the opposite of adding anything—you need to give up, let go, stop doing, get rid of some stuff. Because, the biggest cover up of daily happiness, is our own mind complicating the shit out of life. So get back to basics. And keep it simple. No seriously. And here are 8 ways how!
1. Give up Trying to Please Everyone
Your mind probably tells you that it is your job to make sure everyone is happy. It probably tells you that everyone has to like you for you to function as well. And this sucks our own happiness out of us, because we aren’t be ourselves when we are like this. Be the best version of you that you can be (whatever that looks like) and you’ll naturally attract in the people who are supposed to be in your life. And when you aren’t trying to force it and the right people show up naturally you will be much happier.
2. Stop Participating in Gossip
I don’t know about you but I was taught this one early on in sobriety. Gossip, quite honestly, makes me feel like crap. It makes me feel dirty. It often times will keep me up at night. I will wish that I could go back and not have said it. Why? Because it was unnecessary and a self-pleasing, fear based action. Also, when I do it I am going against the type of person I want to be.
And when I do that my happiness levels disintegrate. Then there is the whole idea that the people who gossip with you will gossip about you. Keep that in mind. Do you want people thinking that about you? Or do you want to be trustworthy. Do you want to be friends with someone who would gossip with you? You don’t HAVE to share the secret or participate in it. It is possible to say nothing. And when you do that you’ll be surprised the reaction people have towards you (positive) and the way you feel (happier and boost of self-esteem.)
3. Stop Taking Everything Personally
Believe it or not, and I feel like I can say this is 100% true, anything that is happening to you, has nothing to do WITH you. How do I know this? Well, the truth is most people are consumed with their own lives, just like you are consumed with your own, to even care what you are doing. The world doesn’t revolve around you. You don’t cause people to act a certain way. Things don’t happen to you. They are just happening. Whatever is going on, probably has nothing to do with you.
4. Let Go of the Past
Letting go of the past doesn’t mean forgetting about it and pretending it never happened. It means looking back on it with a more positive spin. Letting go of it means just allowing it to be, and seeing the blessing in it.
Letting go of the past means no longer allowing it to negatively affect you today. You don’t have to pretend it didn’t happen. Just stop allowing it to affect your happiness today. The best way to do that? To put a positive spin on it. See it in a positive light.
5. Give Up Anger
Anger is a cover up for fear. It is a way of protecting ourselves. Giving up anger and allowing yourself to feel what it is you are actually feeling will allow you to bring more happiness to your life. Anger stops communication and complicates your life.
You’re no longer taking action from a place of love, your heart, your soul. When you act in anger you are taking action from a place of hurt (hurt pride, hurt self-esteem, fear of what people think etc.) Allow yourself to react from that vulnerable place. Why? Because anger really only hurts yourself. Shuts you off to yourself. Anger burns up happiness.
6. Let Go of the Unrealistic Expectations of Happiness
We all think of things as very black and white. We make large all encompassing judgments of our lives based on what is happening in a day or even a moment. We take one aspect of our life that is bad and apply that to our overall life.
We expect to be at 100% in our life and if it isn’t 100% then it might as well be 0%. Let go of your expectations or just lower them. Expect 70% and then when you get 70% you’ll be happier. And 70% is more realistic. Also realize that having bad days is a part of a happy life. No one gets through life totally happy all the time. But the realization that bad days aren’t really bad but are just life, are just that 70% day can create a happy life. Weird I know.
7. Stop Worrying
So we all have had the thought, but what if this happens? Well when you think that, there is also this question: What if doesn’t? What if a hurricane comes and tears down my house? Yeah, but what if it doesn’t?
Whatever you are worried about is usually a “what if?”—and one of the best ways I have learned to counter that worry or “what if?” is to say but “what if it doesn’t?” What if I lose my job? What if you don’t?
Worries drain today of its happiness based on stuff your own mind has come up with. If worries come in to your mind, say “Oh hello worries, welcome back. But what if (your situation) doesn’t?” “Go on mind, do what you do.” This keeps allows your mind to just do what it does without attaching to the thought. It is okay to worry but you can do things to take care of yourself and stay present throughout it.
8. Give Up Control
The number one sucker of happiness in life is the need to control. Why? Because the world is out of YOUR control and that will NEVER change no matter how hard you try to change it. When you have to control you are fighting a futile mission against the entire world that has its own agenda, totally different from yours. It has been a losing battle from the beginning. It is like trying to make the world spin backwards on its axis through your own power. It will never happen. All you can try to do is try to change yourself to the point where you don’t feel the need to make the world spin backwards. Maybe it is by realizing that the world spins one way for a reason.
Anyways, the analogy just means–when you feel a need to control, realize you have to change yourself and your own thinking. The feeling or need to control is actually you telling yourself that your ideas, actions, behaviors need to change. Because that is really the only control you are going to have, changing yourself. So change yourself and all of a sudden you won’t need to control anymore. Adding happiness to your life!
See, happiness is a choice. It is choice to take different actions in our life, ones of letting go and allowing things to be that creates a happy life. Happiness is a daily thing, a manner of traveling that has a lot to do with what you choose to do in each moment. So go and be happy!