Wednesday, July 18, 2018

“The most simple things can bring the most happiness.”  ~~Izabella Scorupco

“We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves.  We have to step up as women and take the lead.”  ~~Beyonce

“In a time of destruction, create something.”  ~~Maxine Hong Kingston
Statement #3:
 Happiness is a habit I am developing.
Happiness is created, not waited for.
Alcohol or other substances of abuse can appear to bring happiness momentarily, but underneath a desire to escape or run away, feelings of emotional pain can linger and increase.  As sobriety and recovery flourishes, Statement #3 encourages the creation of genuine and concrete happiness, turning this action into a habit, and into a healthy new skill.
Here are 4 ways which can aid in creating happiness:
  1.    Begin your day with intention:  As Jean encourages in our WFS Program booklet on page 3, take a few minutes each morning to reflect and read the Statements.  This can also be a good time to set an intention: focus on being patient with family or friends or prioritizing your day or tasks.
  2.    Be physical:  Walk, run, stretch, dance, exercise.  Give a hug, get a hug!  Moving the body releases endorphins, which trigger positive feelings.
  3. Mindfulness: Focus on where your mind goes in certain situations.  Need inspiration?  Watch inspiring videos, get creative and get connected!
  4. Close your day with gratitude:   Have you considered how your eyes, ears, family, pets, home or sobriety make a difference in your life?  Ruminate on gratitude and it quickly becomes a healthy habit.

What are some ways or examples that you are making happiness a habit in your life?
Hi 4C Women,
Creating a habit takes practice. I have been practicing developing happiness for a very long time and in looking over the many books, messages and inspirational quotes I have in my possession, I realized I have developed a strong foundation of happiness, joy and peace. I have especially needed and utilized this foundation the past couple of years because I have also experienced deep sadness, frustration and a bit of resentment. Here's the good news - I am no longer the woman who clung to and lived in constant negativity without any hope of a situation, my attitude or response changing. Everything changes! Life is not static, it is evolving just as we are with the tools and guidance of the WFS program.  

Found a tear out sheet from a very old Oprah Winfrey magazine about joy and happiness. Here are the questions and exercises to do:

Each day for a week, make a list of the things that bring you delight. At the end of the week, hang the list on a mirror to remind you of all that's positive in your life.  

How much joy you experience is connected to how open you are to receiving it. Do you believe you are worthy of it? How might the way you see yourself be robbing you of happiness?  

Who in your life brings you the most contentment? Are you depending more on your spouse, friends, family to bring you satisfaction than you are on yourself?

That last question fits right into Statement #3. Please note that it says who in your life brings you the most contentment. It does not say that others cannot do that as it is followed by asking if you are more dependent on others to do so. That is the key question. We all are interdependent. People in our lives bring different things to us - laughter, love, adventure, listening, helping, quiet assurance, compassion, joy and so many other emotional needs. They are there to support, encourage and even bring balance when we are struggling in figuring things out. The important part of Statement #3 and the posed questions is that we need to be part of creating the path to joy, happiness and contentment. We are not alone yet we cannot expect others to completely fill that void in our lives. It is unfair to them and to ourselves. It robs us of our ability to be creative, to uncover and discover our needs and how to meet them.  I hope you will take the time to consider the questions and do the exercise of writing the "delightful" list along with Karen's fantastic suggestions.  
Bonded in developing happiness, 
4C WFS Member
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