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Moving from Momentary Pleasure to True Happiness

Russell Brand, in his book Recovery, says, “What I used to think of as happiness was merely distraction from the pain.” At some point in our addiction, we often begin confusing the two. Our concept of happiness is, in reality, merely a sense of fleeting pleasure brought about by drugs and alcohol. When we begin relying on external things, whether it be drugs, alcohol, or material possessions, for our happiness, we find ourselves trapped in a painful cycle of addiction.

Thubten Chodron, a Tibetan Buddhist nun, explains, “This constant yo-yo mind is dependent on external objects and people and leaves us oblivious to how our mind is the actual source of our happiness and misery…. Life becomes a battle with the environment and the people in it, as we try to be near everything we like and get far away from or destroy anything we dislike. This brings us so much grief and suffering because our mind is so reactive.” In sobriety, we learn to stop relying on external things as a source of happiness, and begin tapping into the wellspring of happiness that has existed inside of us all along.

Recent research into happiness has pointed out that there are two different forms: hedonic and eudaimonic. A 2001 Annual Review of Psychology article entitled On Happiness and Human Potentials: a Review of Research on Hedonic and Eudaimonic Well-Being, explains, “Well-being is a complex construct that concerns optimal experience and functioning. Current research on well-being has been derived from two general perspectives: the hedonic approach, which focuses on happiness and defines well-being in terms of pleasure attainment and pain avoidance; and the eudaimonic approach, which focuses on meaning and self-realization and defines well-being in terms of the degree to which a person is fully functioning.” In sobriety, we engage in a process of spiritual and emotional development that shifts our attention from that of hedonic, fleeting pleasure to that of personal fulfillment and self-actualization. This fosters a sense of consistent happiness and well-being, allowing us to maintain our serenity and peace of mind because we no longer rely on external sources of pleasure to make us happy.

Your life can become one of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. You can embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery by making the decision to seek help now. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, is staffed with knowledgeable and compassionate professionals dedicated to preparing clients for a life that is rich and full without the chains of addiction to hold them back. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431