Content reviewed by Nicholas G. Glines, Executive Director at New Hope Ranch
Alcohol use is a big part of our culture and the idea of being sober can seem boring. Once you achieve sobriety and embark on the road to recovery, your life will be far from boring. Sobriety offers you the opportunity to pursue activities you might not have explored while under the weight of addiction. Learn more about sobriety and happiness.
How Does Sobriety and Happiness Cultivate Health?
1. You will gain more energy
Regular substance use interferes with every facet of your daily life, including nutrition, sleep, work and social life. Due to a poor day-to-day schedule, you will find yourself developing negative health habits. When you attain sobriety, it will come better sleep, nutrition and relationships. When you seek care at treatment facilities that work to help you develop healthier routines, you will have the daily structure to develop good habits. Once you get some momentum with nutrition and sleep, you will develop more energy.
A sober lifestyle and good energy encourage positivity. With newborn energy, long-term recovery becomes possible. Healthy living habits turn into routines that provide alternatives to manage your impulses and avoid relapse.
2. You will gain a stronger immune system
Alcohol depletes your body of hydration and nutrients that support your immune system. Most individuals who drink regularly find themselves getting sick more often.
When you stop drinking, you will notice a significant increase in your ability to resist and overcome being sick. Being sick less throughout the year will lead to a better mood and happiness.
3. You will improve your relationships
Part of recovery is about developing and restoring relationships that benefit your life of sobriety. When you remove yourself from toxic people and places, you will have more time to spend doing sober activities with the people that support you. You can restore relationships that may have been damaged while you were using substances.
Restoring relationships is among the strongest motivator in recovery. When you become sober, you will explore opportunities to repair relationships and form new ones. Without the presence of alcohol, you will find that these relationships are more meaningful than before.
Sobriety improves connections and interactions with others and it allows you to understand others and yourself through a clear and healthy mind. Developing such relationships helps communicate and express your needs and expectations in recovery. It will open the doors to longer-lasting relationships and help to introduce you to new activities.
4. You will save money
Supporting an alcohol addiction is expensive. When battling addiction, you tend to focus your energy on working to acquire alcohol. Spending your time and money focusing on your next drink will interfere with your home and work life and any future savings will be non-existent.
A great benefit of being sober is that you will have the opportunity to put money away. It will also help you become more accountable in your home and work life. Therefore, you will feel like your work has more meaning because you will work for yourself, not alcohol. Life becomes more manageable as you can afford the rent, groceries and plan trips with family. It is a great trade because you will have more options to experience life beyond alcohol.
5. Your confidence will increase
Alcohol can skew your self-perception. It can lead to weight gain, weight loss, organ damage and can perpetuate co-occurring mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. When addiction is driving you, it skews the narrative to lead you to believe that this is the best your life will get. Addiction is a liar.
When you eliminate alcohol from your life, the physiological difference will be apparent. From a physical analysis, your skin, hair and eyes will have a clear sense of renewal. With this will come a boost in self-esteem and confidence. When you no longer define yourself by your addiction, you become the person you are.
6. You will develop gratitude
Addiction changes the brain and hinders your ability to experience happiness. Sobriety allows your brain the opportunity to heal. While happiness is in the eye of the beholder and it is inevitable that you will experience unhappiness, you will have the ability to change your thoughts, choices and actions to create a happier path.
Perhaps the primary connection between sobriety and happiness is that you develop gratitude. Gratitude offers a positive reflection on your recovery journey, and gratitude cultivates positive feelings when you are feeling sad or unmotivated.
Keeping a journal or taking a few minutes upon waking or before bed to reflect on your accomplishments in sobriety will add brevity to the challenges of everyday living. Understanding that you are in a better place with stronger relationships instills a sense of reassurance and comfort and happiness in knowing that you are making choices that enrich your life.
Happiness is not hard to find in sobriety when you look for opportunities to savor the small pleasure of every day. At New Hope Ranch, we work with individuals to diagnose and treat a substance use disorder and provide aftercare options. If you or someone you love is in need, reach out for help today. To find out more information, call New Hope Ranch at (737) 600-8565.