Happiness No Matter What

Happiness can seem like a vague confusing ‘thing’ to attain. A lot of us don’t seem to know how to ‘get it’ or ‘get there’. In fact, the task of trying to be happy can in itself be self-defeating. The more you go after it, the more it seems to allude you or go away. Some people might feel like they are only happy when they’re high but not only is this very temporary happiness, it also inevitably leads to a lot of pain and suffering.

Happiness doesn’t have to be a mysterious vague experience. There are certain things you can do on a regular basis to maintain and increase your levels of happiness. Understanding the actions that can help create greater self-satisfaction, fulfillment and happiness can be helpful to empower you to make healthy decisions and feel hopeful that even if you are struggling, there are easy things you can do to help lift yourself up. 

Some suggestions on actions to increase happiness levels can include things like: 

  1. Giving -Do small acts of giving or volunteering in your everyday life. Focusing on giving to other can automatically improve your self-esteem and your mood.
  2. Connecting to other people -Make connections and relationships with other people. If you struggle with other people, you can also work to feel more connected to animals, pets and nature.
  3. Physical exercise -Regular physical exercise is a key aspect of feeling good. This doesn’t mean you need to work out hours a day…just 20-30 minutes a day of some kind of movement makes a difference!
  4. Appreciating the world around you -Practice thankfulness and gratitude for small things every day. It will change your perspective and help you to feel more fortunate and happier!
  5. Trying and learning new things -Practice and think of new things to learn every day! The more variety and new things you add into your life the more positive things you can think about!
  6. Creating goals to work towards -Work on creating positive new goals for yourself, or maybe revisit old goals you haven’t accomplished yet. Goals can provide purpose, direction, build self-esteem and motivation.
  7. Find ways to be resilient -Work on regular resilience. The more you build resilience in everyday life, the easier anything that comes up is to manage. Resilience helps to maintain balance and not rock the boat when life is upsetting.
  8. Practice a positive perspective -Practice a positive perspective every day. This is critical! Our perspective is the lens we view the world in and absolutely impacts how happy we feel every day. We can experience something and decide to see it through one perspective or react and perceive it negatively. Ultimately, it’s our choice.
  9. Self Acceptance and embrace who you are -Find the good in yourself and focus on it! Accept all of who you are and work on things you wish were different.
  10. Find meaning and a purpose -Identify what matters to you and create a plan to have more of it in your life
  11. Set boundaries on your own needs -set restrictions on your availability of what you can and can’t do 
  12. Use daily affirmations to challenge negative thoughts and habit -Daily affirmations can be reminders on your phone, things you type or write out, post-it notes you keep in your room, etc. Whatever helps to change your perspective and see things through a positive light. 
  13. Spend time in nature or surrounded in nature -Time outside or in nature is helpful for mood, sunshine is especially helpful for improving happiness levels 
  14. Have a healthy diet -make sure to eat a balanced diet and learn what type of diet is best for your body 
  15. Take a walk -walking outside can be really helpful for raising serotonin levels and improving mood and interrupting negative thought patterns 
  16. Make a bucket list of goals and dreams you’d like to accomplish in your life
  17. Keep a gratitude journal and set reminders on your phone to remember to be thankful each day
  18. Be kind to others for no reasonPractice kindness is small ways both to yourself and others. Kindness provides a buffer to stress and makes it easier to manage difficult emotions.
  19. Listen to positive, upbeat music -upbeat music can be really effective for shifting our mood or perspective. It can help a lot to change your energy and feel positive when you couldn’t feel positive before. 
  20. Take time out from technology every day – take breaks from your phone, social media and work and participate in other things and hobbies that increase your happiness and mood
  21. Live in the present moment– Practice living in the present moment and doing daily mindfulness meditation every day for at least 10-15 minutes
  22. Practice smiling more often even if you don’t at first feel like it -The more you smile, the more natural it becomes. You can actually experience more and more happiness just by practicing smiling, even if it seems there is nothing to smile about.
  23. Watch favorite upbeat movies or shows or read a good book– this provides a break from everyday stress 
  24. Focus on a work/life balance -Define what balance means to you and work around that to build it into your life.
  25. Work on improving your self image– imagine your best possible self, imagine yourself as being happy, notice your strengths, notice your positive qualities
  26. Make positive memories– take and post pictures of happy times and memories, and picture of yourself smiling and happy
  27. Look for the silver lining in a situation – Look for what is positive in any situation even if there is only something small to appreciate 
  28. Be conscious of how you are spending money -money awareness and management is an important part of happiness. If your financial situation isn’t exactly the way you’d like, work on a plan to figure out how you can have a low stress financial situation.  
  29. Communicate with kindness– practice speaking, thinking and communicating kindly both to yourself 
  30. Work to be more aware of your thoughts and feelings -mindfulness, meditation, yoga and other calming activities can be helpful for bringing awareness to your thoughts and feelings. Just by bringing awareness to them, you can decrease negative emotions and feel more calm and centered.
  31. Practice honesty and living according to your values– work to identify your values and understand what is important to you. 
  32. Use your imagination to visualize positive situations and scenarios 
  33. Define what happiness means to you -everyone’s definition and understanding of happiness is to some extent different but it’s helpful to know what it means to you 
  34. Say yes to life and go after what you want
  35. Speak up and be yourself -living and being your authentic self is a key part of being happy 
  36. Add variety to your life and try new activities 
  37. Take responsibility –Take responsibilty for yourself and keep yourself accountable for how you are actually feeling
  38. Spend time just “being” -spending time taking rest and relaxing and letting go of “doing” 

Learning how to improve your mood and maintain happiness while sober are huge parts of recovery. Learning how to practice happiness gets easier and easier with time. Silver Lining understands that you have spent a lot of time dealing with feelings of sadness, depression, worthlessness, guilt, and shame. These feelings make it that much harder to obtain and stick with sobriety and a treatment plan for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and other diagnoses. Our policy of treating small numbers of people in each group allows us to get to know you and the exact type of help you need to learn to be kind to yourself and achieve your goals. We help you flourish now and in the future. Let our Huntington Beach location be where you begin again! Call us today for more information. (866) 448-4563.

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