Therapy is Not About Being Happy, it’s About Being Healthy

Being happy is kind of the ‘in’ thing to do right now, but that does not mean happiness is going to find everyone at the same time, if at all. Sometimes people really struggle with finding true happiness and joy. In the end, it is about being healthy, more than being happy, and there is nothing wrong with feeling any other way than happy. Since society likes to condition everyone to feel like happiness is the only emotional state we are allowed to live in, it is good, and healthy, to learn in therapy how to access and sit with difficult emotions while still being healthy and stable in recovery.

Happiness Equals Failure

One of the challenging equations people encounter in the world is the idea that life is about sustaining happiness and joy most, if not all, of the time. Any other emotion is not of this world, or life, and should be shut down or suppressed. Everyone wonders why or how we get let down. Goals for therapy are important to maintain because they help us realize we are not supposed to always be happy. In fact, by reaching for happiness, it kind of sets people up for failure. People would give up trying to find happiness if they felt they were only ever going to be disappointed, frustrated, or worried. Therapy is about finding a safe space to be vulnerable, access difficult emotions, and process them so that a deeper inner joy can be attained without worries around having to find happiness at every turn.

Quest for Meaning

Man’s quest for meaning often lands people in a therapist’s office (or rehab). Those are safe spaces to be vulnerable and let people figure out how they are going to move forward in their lives. We cannot possibly be happy all the time, but we can create a greater sense of meaning that helps us feel life is worthwhile. Investing in ourselves and the world is healthy and sustainable. Finding meaning in life comes from:

  • A sense of belonging
  • A sense of purpose
  • Storytelling
  • Transcendence or finding moments of awe and wonder

Developing Resilience

Pursuing happiness is not a futile endeavor. It is worth seeking out, but it also takes resilience to get back up when times are tough. Being happy is awesome but to roll with the punches becomes important in a way that happiness does not. When there is a setback, it helps to look at how quickly you can bounce back from adversity. If there are ways a person can get back up, it is worth learning tools including medication, resources, or other ways that support overall growth and health.

Finding happiness that lasts takes time. It comes from a deeper knowing of the self which needs to be uncovered after years of being hidden by addiction. In recovery, people can start to unlock their own inner potential for joy and discover ways they can find it, even in the midst of adversity, and begin to live with more meaning and purpose.

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.