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Preventing Burnout through Meaning and Purpose

The pursuit of happiness is something we’re all familiar with. Most people want to be[1]  happy and believe finding happiness is the ultimate goal. Some even spend their lives searching for happiness. It’s a common misconception that happiness equals a better life. The truth is, searching for “happiness” doesn’t always lead to a better life.

            You don’t always have to be happy. We’re all human. Humans are meant to experience pain, grief, frustration, anger, and any other natural human emotion. When you change your mindset to finding meaning instead of happiness, you welcome a truly authentic human experience. One that is resilient to the inevitable moments of suffering that all humans go through at some point in their lives.

            Finding Your “Why”

            We base our programs at Sunshine Coast Health Centre on Meaning-Centered Therapy. Our treatments are highly personalized and centered around a therapeutic approach of empowerment. We help our clients discover the power of using meaning and purpose to overcome addiction.

            Finding your “why” helps you better understand your reasons for of overcoming addiction. When your life has purpose and is meaningful, it’s easier to get down to the brass tacks of it all and fix the underlying issues. The truth is, overcoming addiction takes work and commitment amongst other things. It’s not always easy. It’s almost a guarantee that there will be ups and downs; that’s part of the authentic human experience. Recovery isn’t about happiness, but, rather, finding meaning in the process to allow you to live a more fulfilling life overall. A meaningful existence is much more powerful than being “happy”. Meaning and purpose provide an personal “anchor” during challenging times that happiness cannot.

            How To Prevent Burnout During Recovery

            Embracing authenticity, meaning, and purpose during your recovery journey can help you prevent burnout. When your goal is to be happy, you unintentionally set yourself up for failure. When your goal is to live a meaningful life, you build resiliency which can help you thrive in many areas of your life.

            Resilient people avoid burnout by staying focused on the bigger picture of what really matters in their life… the “why”. When are you focused on living a meaningful life, you are more apt to take the good with the bad. Your purpose can help you stay strong, healthy, and successful even in the face of adversity.

            Those who strive to live meaningful lives harness their values, strengths, and connections to avoid burnout. When you have a clear sense of the purpose of your recovery as well as your life, your values keep you centered, focused, and grounded when there is disruption, allowing you to avoid complete burnout and/or a return to substance/alcohol use. When you are aware and tuned into your emotions, your cravings, and your limitations, you permit yourself to have those feelings without guilt or shame.  Focusing on the bigger picture and what is meaningful to you, can help you manage your emotions and impulsivity without becoming overwhelmed.

            A key principle of meaning theory is that meaning is personal. You cannot give meaning to a person. It must come from within the person. Meaning does not come from wealth and a good job or education will only provide personal meaning for so long. We’re here to help you find meaning and purpose in your life to help overcome addiction. Don’t hesitate to reach out for the support you need.


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