Addiction recovery and joy are rarely found in the same sentence. When you begin the detox and treatment process, there are so many changes going on in your body and mind that joy might seem to have never been further away. However, as a principle of Ho Tai, joy takes on a different meaning. When you apply that principle to recovery, joy means expressing gratitude and making it a way of life. That is something you can do even in the most challenging moments of treatment for addiction.
Joy in the Ho Tai Way
Ho Tai is a philosophy derived from Buddhism with four fundamental principles: prosperity, wealth, joy, and abundance. Using these principles for purposes of recovery, at The Ho Tai Way – Recovery For Women, we have interpreted these principles as:
- Prosperity: Living an addiction-free lifestyle
- Wealth: Having richness in quality of life
- Joy: Being able to express gratitude and make it a way of life
- Abundance: Broadening our mental and emotional horizons
There is joy in expressing gratitude, as gratitude helps you recognize the gifts you have received. The Ho Tai Way teaches you to receive the gifts you are worthy to receive. As you seek treatment for substance abuse, the healing you find allows you to open and receive more.
Joy Is Within Your Power to Experience
Experiencing joy does not come from external sources. Joy is how you choose to experience life, from the day-to-day moments to the more significant events. Joy comes from within you. This gives you the power to experience joy in any circumstance, even ones that seem discouraging.
Humans experience a full range of emotions, and that is healthy. There are times to be sad and grieve and times to celebrate and be joyful. The feelings you experience when you are healthy should correspond to the events you are reacting to. But having gratitude as a way of life gives you peace and serenity even in emotionally difficult moments.
Receiving Joy in Difficult Moments
There will be difficult moments and days ahead of you in your recovery. Life is full of ups and downs for everyone. What makes the difference is how you choose to face these difficult moments. Do you dwell on the negative aspects and wallow in self-pity? Do you whine and complain to everyone around you about your problems? If so, then you will reap what you have sown: misery.
On the other hand, if you acknowledge that you are in a moment of difficulty or had a tough day or even an emotionally trying day, you can find gratitude for the things that you do have. Did you experience some really strong cravings today? That is definitely difficult. On the other hand, you came out on the other side without relapsing. Acknowledging this blessing and being grateful for that will bring you joy. You will see your cup half full instead of half empty.
Finding Joy Every Day
People are drawn to those who make gratitude a way of life. Some call them “positive” people, but you are simply a joyful person when you are grateful each day. People enjoy being around people who can find joy even in the little things. Being able to express gratitude daily helps you to weather the storms of life with less stress. Not only does gratitude help improve your emotional well-being, but practicing gratitude has been linked to lower instances of heart disease.
Finding joy every day by making gratitude a way of life can also help sustain your recovery. One 2021 study looked at gratitude and other empathy-based virtues and found that those who used gratitude as a way of life were more likely to complete their treatment for substance abuse. Expressing gratitude can help you find joy every day.
Acknowledging the Gift of Joy
When you express gratitude, you receive joy. The more gratitude that you express, the more joy you are able to receive. That cycle continues as long as you choose. Therefore, joy is a gift that you receive.
An important part of receiving a gift is to acknowledge it. Until you make gratitude a way of life, you may not even realize the joy you have received. As you begin to recognize the joy in your life, you help increase the positive benefits. Like a snowball effect, expressing gratitude leads to joy, and when you acknowledge the gift of joy, you receive even more of it in your life.
Despite what you may have heard about treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, it is possible to find joy. Using the principle of joy as defined by making gratitude a way of life, you can choose to have it even in difficult moments. The more joy you acknowledge, the more you receive, and your physical and emotional wellness can benefit from practicing gratitude daily. At The Ho Tai Way – Recovery For Women, we are committed to giving you a safe, trauma-informed refuge to heal from addiction. Located in beautiful Southern California, we use evidence-based practices to create a complete mind, body, and spiritual healing. We use both individual and group therapy to help you work through your pain and know that you are not alone. We offer support meetings for women that are also trauma-informed for those who have gone through traumatic experiences. Please get in touch with us at (714) 581-3974 to learn more information.