If you are one of those people who say that there is no such thing called magic, then I would like to close your eyes once and imagine the following things:
An infant playing by himself in a crib, smiling and laughing at something he does not even know about
A puppy and a kitten playing together
Your mother telling you in the afternoon that she would be cooking bottle gourd but when you reach home, you see your favorite dish on dinner table
Meeting a childhood friend after many years, in an unexpected place.
Eating your favorite candy after 20 years
Staying close to the nature, feeling every drop of rain, smelling the petrichor (fragrance of mud in the air after a spell of rain), seeing beautiful fruit and flower laden trees.
Did you not just smile with everything you imagined? Did it not feel like some flower blossomed in your heart? That is what I call magic. Your smile and a good laugh is the magic for you.
Addiction affects a person’s expressions the most. That person might start getting vexed with every little occurrence in his day to day life; he might get angrier and more frustrated with everything that happens around him or with him. His happiness becomes a temporary feeling, attached only with his substance. In Shafa Home, we teach them how to enjoy life’s every moment without drugs and what is the joy of being together. How does it feel to smile and laugh, together? The same thing is to be followed in recovery. Residents in the morning meetings are taught how to cherish small things such as an unannounced celebration, playing games like Volleyball, Chess, Table tennis to refresh mood etc. That is because their journey of sobriety starts from here, so they must learn to feel the joy of little privileges and amenities in life and be thankful for them.
Some practices that would keep you healthy and good in recovery:
Every morning, as you wake up, Smile and thank the Almighty Lord for giving you a new life. Ask Him to give you wisdom to stay sober and work with intelligence.
After that, look at yourself in the mirror and feel happy that you have safely woken up for a new day. Smile again.
Hug your mother/father/daughter/son/wife/sister and wish them with a new spirit. Sometimes, make breakfast for them, or else, just thank them after the morning meal.
Go for a morning walk, breathe some fresh air. Rather do some breathing exercises, like diaphragmatic breathing for 10-15 minutes. Take deep long breaths, inhaling and exhaling from your nose. Greet old people on your way, spend some time with them if possible. Listen to the sound of crackling leaves, chirruping birds and squirrels. Do not forget to smile.
Once a week, call over your friends at home, and party with them. Dance, have healthy juices and food and laugh together.
Join some laughter club, go with your friends and family for some laughter shows or just set a time to practice laughter Yoga.
Hug kids in your house or your neighbors’ kids. Play with them and re-live your childhood sometimes.
Pick yourself as the point of laughter, learn to laugh at yourself, but make sure that it does not affect your self esteem.
Instead of complaining, try to find some humor in the situation. That ways, you would be able to solve it in a more sorted out manner.
Eat with your family and watch comedy shows on TV. Listen to some good music together. Feel the moment.
When you do all these things, you will definitely feel changes in your mood and your coping skills would become better.
Why is it important to smile and laugh?
Scientifically, when you smile, your muscles start relaxing. Your brain releases a feel-good and pain relieving chemical called Endorphin. So when you smile and laugh, the flow of blood, muscle and nerve contraction/expansion becomes different, relaxing us mentally; which releases the chemical dopamine, conditioning our mind to smile and laugh more. Just as usage of any psychoactive substance like drugs or alcohol releases dopamine, which makes people use the same substance again and again, the same work is done by laughing and smiling more. Smiling helps in relieving anxiety and stress; whereas, anger and negative emotions alleviate stress and health problems such as headaches, migraine, body ache etc. So what would you like to choose? It takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile, so which one do you think relaxes us more?
There are so many benefits related with smiling and laughter. It even makes you socialize better. People with a good sense of humor are considered to be more social and happier; they are found to be better at resolving conflicts and maintaining healthy relations than those who tend to be more of serious. So chose Laughter and Smiling as your recovery medicine.