The pursuit of happiness is a human characteristic everyone has in common. For many, happiness seems to be an elusive goal, and it’s easy to sink into misery and unhappiness. When this happens, people may turn to destructive substitutes like drugs or alcohol to mask the pain.
There are many different types of happiness that you can attain: joy, excitement, gratitude, pride, optimism, contentment and love, to name a few. Each person has something unique that makes them happy. As you become more self-aware, you’ll be able to reach a new level of contentment.
Here, we will look at the different types of happiness as you examine the things in your life that make you happy.
Four Levels of Happiness
The four levels of happiness represent your personal priorities and how you relate to others. The lower levels of happiness (Level 1 and Level 2) are more immediate feelings. Higher levels of happiness (Level 3 and Level 4) are more rational and related to your values and ethics.
Level 1: Pleasure
The first level of happiness includes the fundamental drivers in your life — physical pleasure and immediate gratification. This form of happiness is relatively short-lived and shallow. Examples include a delicious meal, new clothes or even listening to your favorite music. Although not inherently wrong, getting stuck at the first level of happiness is a constant roller coaster of seeking satisfaction in temporary desires.
Level 2: Passion
Whether it’s a hobby or getting recognition at your job, being passionate about something is an excellent source of happiness. Yet it’s usually based on a need to satisfy your ego.
Passion is needed to gain self-confidence. However, if you get stuck at Level 2, you may become obsessed with winning so much that you feel the need to keep others down. This type of happiness is not enduring.
Level 3: Purpose
When you feel like your talents and skills allow you to serve others and are part of something bigger, this can give you a sense of purpose, fulfillment and long-term happiness. Everyone wants to think that their life has meaning. Deeper, longer-lasting happiness grows as you make a positive difference in the world.
Level 4: Ultimate Good
The fourth level of happiness is known as ultimate good. This is a fundamental desire we have as human beings for perfect truth, goodness, beauty and love.
Many people find this form of happiness through their religious beliefs. Even those who don’t believe in a higher power can find happiness in their pursuit of truth, beauty, love and goodness in themselves and in helping others. This level of happiness is often considered the most enduring and profound.
How to Avoid Turning to Drugs or Alcohol When You’re Unhappy
The desire to be happy is a deep, fundamental need. When you feel miserable or unhappy, it can impact every aspect of your life. If you don’t know how to handle unhappiness, you may see drugs or alcohol as an easy solution to your problems. When people use drugs or engage in heavy drinking, the brain releases “feel good” chemicals that mask feelings of unhappiness. Using these substances can lead to addiction.
If you find that you’re falling into a rut of unhappiness, here are a few suggestions that may help you find positivity so you don’t turn to drugs or alcohol:
- Connect with friends, family and your support network
- Try not to base your self-worth on whether others are happy
- Avoid comparing yourself to others
- Live for the moment and enjoy the beauty of life
- Focus on the positive aspects of your life
- Remember that you don’t have to hide your imperfections
- Believe in your overall success, even when confronted with failure
- Practice selflessness and doing things for the good of others
How 7 Summit Pathways Can Help
If you find yourself turning to drugs or alcohol to mask feelings of unhappiness, you are not alone. At 7 Summit Pathways, we understand that Substance Addiction often stems from deep emotional wounds. That’s why we offer holistic therapies and personalized Recovery plans for addiction, addressing your individual needs so you get the help you require.