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Finding Joy by Breaking the Habit of Self-Comparison

The habit of self-comparison is a very common thing to fall into and it usually begins at a young age. Think back to when you took part in self-comparison for the first time. Maybe it was when you were just a child and a classmate of yours had a new toy that you wanted. While it may not be a big deal in the beginning, this habit can become much more of a serious problem later in life. 

Self-comparison causes us to look at our own lives and compare where we are to those around us. If aren’t satisfied with what we see, then we may feel inadequate or insecure. This practice can lead to poor mental health, such as anxiety and depression. The good news is that the habit of self-comparison, although difficult, can be broken. 

At Sage Recovery, we believe that continual self-improvement is an important part of the recovery journey. Part of this process involves striving to break bad habits and replace them with more positive ones. This can help you to find more joy in your life. 

Understanding How the Habit of Self-Comparison Steals Joy

To keep the habit of self-comparison from stealing joy from your life, you have to first consider how it works. One of the primary ways that this habit can steal joy is by causing you to minimize your successes and achievements. For example, imagine that you just got a compliment at work from your boss and are in a great mood because of it. Yet, following this, you hear the news that one of your coworkers just got a promotion that you were hoping to get yourself. 

If you have not yet broken the habit of self-comparison, your first instinct could be to allow this news to ruin your mood. Maybe you find yourself feeling sorry for yourself or wondering what your coworker did to get the promotion over you. Before long, you may have completely forgotten about the words of praise and encouragement you were so excited about earlier. This is because you allowed the achievement of another to take away from your joy and minimize your accomplishment. 

If this sounds similar to something that you’ve found yourself doing before, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Meanwhile, if it is not within the setting of the workplace, you may engage in the habit of self-comparison in other ways. For example, maybe you compare your looks to other people, your home, your car, or even where you are in life to others. This practice steals joy by causing you to overlook and completely miss out on all the good in your own life because you are so busy looking around at others. 

Breaking the Habit of Self-Comparison Through Gratitude

One of the most effective ways to break the habit of self-comparison once and for all is through the practice of gratitude. Gratitude is not only incredibly important for good mental health and self-esteem but plays an important role in recovery as well. Taking the time to practice gratitude involves truly acknowledging the things in your life, both big and small, that are good and valuable. When you practice gratitude, you are going to find it easier to focus on your own life instead of those around you. 

While in active addiction, gratitude is often the last thing on people’s minds. Think back to when you first began your recovery journey. You were likely experiencing fear, anxiety, maybe even guilt, shame, or anger. Yet, as you’ve achieved your sobriety, you may have found yourself discovering joy and gratitude once again. 

This is because sobriety allows for a fresh perspective and a much more clear head. When substance use is no longer clouding your mind, you can truly see the many good things around you that you may have overlooked before. This can be as simple as fresh air, quality time spent with loved ones, and the comfort of a good meal. Remembering to be grateful for even the small things in your life can bring the habit of self-comparison to a grinding halt. 

Making Gratitude More of a Daily Habit

Practicing gratitude isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. If you have been through a lot of challenges and hard times in your life, gratitude may still seem far away. However, you can make gratitude more of a part of your daily life by simple, easy habits. For example, you can consider keeping a gratitude journal. 

This is a very valuable habit that hardly takes any time at all but can dramatically improve your overall mental health. It can be done right before you go to bed at night or when you wake up in the morning. Simply take the time to write down three things that you are grateful for each day. You can later look back at these things when you need motivation or encouragement. 

At Sage Recovery, we believe that finding true gratitude is one of the many lasting gifts of recovery. 

Many people put off beginning their recovery journey because they think it is going to be too much time and hard work. While maintaining your sobriety does indeed take effort and determination, it pays off in more ways than you can imagine. There are so many benefits associated with recovery that you can’t truly appreciate until you’ve experienced them yourself. If you are ready to change your life for the better by getting sober, our team at Sage Recovery can help. Give us a call at (512) 306-1394 today to learn more about our different services and what recovery could look like for you. We can help you to start right away.