Bringing Pleasure into Living Alcohol-Free

Bringing pleasure into recovery2

The first part of Behavioral Activation is goal-setting and deciding what we’re going to work on bringing back into our lives. Take some time to brain dump all of the things that you used to enjoy; the people, places, things, activities, exercises, hobbies, books, events that used to give you a pleasure response. The big things, and the small things. The things only you liked, or the mainstream fun. Maybe even some of the things you always wanted to do but never tried.

As we bring these back into our daily practice, we have the opportunity to select the things that contribute to our highest self—the person we aspire to be. We don’t have to add everything we’ve ever done back into our life, just the things that serve our highest good and align with the person we want to be in alcohol-free living. If socializing at a bar used to be on your list, you don’t have to add that one back in. If wine-tasting used to be on your list, you don’t need that one either. But if coffee with a friend used to bring you joy, or reading a good book used to hit that pleasure threshold, add in the things that build you back up.

Once you have your list, select a few things that you’d like to reincorporate into your life and set goals for those activities this week. As you perform these activities, monitor how they feel and write it down. Our goal is to see an improvement in these experiences as you perform them consistently, until they finally begin to feel awesome again.