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Choosing Joy: Tips to Achieve Happiness After Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Happiness can feel elusive, determined by what’s happening (or not happening) right now. Joy, on the other hand, is a sense of contentment one feels regardless of the current situation.  It is not altered by external factors.  You don’t have to wait until the trouble is over to be filled with joy.  You may be wondering, “How can I be full of joy when things aren’t going well in my life?”  Well, it takes a lot of effort, but the answer is simple.  Are you ready?  Experiencing a joy-filled life, no matter the circumstance, depends on where you choose to focus your attention.  Here is a short list of things to focus on that can help bring more joy to your life:

Accept that the past is the past.

Understand that you cannot change things that happened in the past, but you can focus on the future and do what you can to make a positive impact on today and tomorrow.  Joy comes in knowing that it’s not too late to turn things around.  With every new day, you have the opportunity to make a better choice, to right a wrong or to encourage yourself and others to keep pushing.

Know that trouble does not always last.

Joy comes in knowing that whatever situation you are dealing with right now; it will not last forever.  While going through a challenge in life, things can seem very dark.  You can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But, instead of focusing on the problem, focus your attention on solutions like working the 12 Steps, going to AA or NA meetings, and staying in contact with your support network.

See the good.

This is an old cliché, but it it’s true — “Things could always be worse.”  Make the decision to focus on the good in every situation.  It’s the old glass-half-full attitude that brings an unbridled sense of joy.  Focus on the good things you have, not what you don’t have. Be grateful for what you can do, don’t harbor regret for what you cannot do.

Focusing your mind on the right thoughts can help you maintain a sense of joyfulness regardless of what is happening around you. When we realize that our perspective can shift our enjoyment of life and that at the end of the day, we are in charge of our feelings and our destiny, it becomes much easier to start finding joy in everyday life.


For more information, resources, and encouragement, like the Fellowship Hall Facebook page and follow us on Instagram at @FellowshipHallNC.


About Fellowship Hall

For 50 years, Fellowship Hall has been saving lives. We are a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.