Keep Your Sense of Humor During Substance Abuse Recovery
Addiction recovery does not have to revolve around all the negativity that comes with addiction. Despair, tragedy, and sadness often seem to form an addict’s thoughts, providing fear and uncertainty for treatment. Once involved in addiction recovery, the recovering can escape the darkness of addiction-related thoughts and discover renewed joys in life once lost to them. Humor is a tool to bring about positive attitudes, alleviate awkward scenarios, and battle inner darkness for those in substance abuse recovery.
Substance Abuse Recovery and Humor
Because addiction is not a funny topic, most people don’t think of humor when they think of addiction treatment techniques. One definition of sobriety is “a quality of utilizing seriousness.” The implication is that sobriety shouldn’t be humorous, but solely serious. This just is not the truth, or even healthy to practice. A sense of humor is useful in a variety of situations and for a number of reasons. Alcohol and drugs can actually dull a person’s sense of humor. For example, alcohol can slow thought process and depressants can make the most amusing joke seem unexciting. With all the new relationships and scenarios that substance abuse treatment brings, humor helps provide a positive outlook and a healthy state of mind.
The Benefits of Laughter
Have you ever been upset and turned on stand-up comedy or a romantic comedy and instantly felt better? Although negative thoughts can cause a person to feel depressed and anxious, positive thoughts are even more powerful. Humor can wipe away negative emotions within a matter of moments, providing a useful tool throughout the difficulties that may arise during substance abuse recovery. Along with providing a positive outlook on negative situations, humor is actually good for us physically. Studies have shown that laughter improves mental health, mood, and the ability to get productive sleep at night. Negative thoughts and emotions can provide the adverse effects, causing mood disorders and even negative health effects. Since humor doesn’t hurt anyone and actually improves physical and mental health, isn’t it worth a try?
Humor as Vision
Humor can help to ease the pain brought on by addiction because it changes our perceptions. A positive outlook won’t hurt anyone; but, a negative outlook can cause self-blame, dissatisfaction, and relationship problems. Utilizing humor gives a recovering individual a way of looking at negative outcomes from their addiction as something positive.
An example of utilizing a positive outlook would be seeing a picture that someone has taken of you during your deepest lows throughout addiction. The recovering addict with a negative outlook would view the photograph as shameful. He or she would likely toss it out because it is evidence of the darkness in life. On the contrary, if you have a positive outlook in substance abuse recovery, you can view the photograph as a recognition of your past behaviors with a touch of humor.
While the flashbacks may not be funny, you can understand and accept your past when you implement positive thinking and humor techniques. Instead of sulking about the negative aspects of life and letting them keep you down, find humor in your self-reflection. We’re all human and everyone makes mistakes. Utilizing humor in substance abuse recovery can give you a more positive outlook on life, and might even help you to find laughter once again.
Humor as a Habit
Just like any other learned behavior, humor can become a habit. There will undoubtedly be tense situations throughout addiction recovery. Practicing humor in these situations can help to form a habit of positive thinking. When things get tense, or someone makes you angry, force a smile or a joke to ease the tension of the situation. More times than not, this will divert the negative emotions that could cause you to make rash or hurtful decisions; sparing you further damage. Practice this routinely during trying situations, and soon it will become something you do as a response to habit.
Recognizing the Value of Life through Humor
If anything, humor helps you to recognize the value in life. Sure, getting stuck in traffic or arguing with a friend can momentarily cause you anguish; but, are those situations moments in your life that really matter? Even particularly stressful events like not having enough money to pay a bill or a car maintenance issue won’t be remembered later on down the road. Utilizing humor and a positive attitude help to alleviate the pain brought on by these minor mishaps. Additionally, seeing and utilizing humor in these situations makes them seem like what they are; minor issues. Accept the downfalls of life with grace and humor, and you’ll experience less stress and worry throughout substance abuse recovery.