At Chateau Recovery, we view addiction as a co-occurring disorder. We believe that substance abuse and mental health issues are often symbiotic in nature, and it is important to us to treat each client holistically. Many drug and alcohol rehab centers only focus on the substance abuse in addiction therapy. This article is focused on life values, which can be identified and striven for to achieve overall mental wellness.
What are Values?
Values help you define your purpose and direction in life; they are those things that are most precious and meaningful to you. Values and goals are not exactly the same thing. While both goals and values can guide and direct you and help provide meaning and purpose, they are not exactly the same thing. Goals are specific things you accomplish, fulfill, and measure. Values, on the other hand, are not accomplished, fulfilled or able to be measured. Your goals and actions should be directed by your values and your values should be expressed, epitomized and manifested by those goals and actions. Goals can be achieved, while values evolve throughout life.
How do you determine your values? Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
What is really important to you? What do you feel really matters to you? What do you want your life to stand for? What principles do you want to guide your attitudes, behaviors and relationships?
Clarifying values is the process of defining what is most important to you in your life. Connecting yourself to a more profound awareness of what really matters to you allows you to determine the direction and purpose in order to secure a more abundant life. Unfortunately, awareness of and connecting to our values often gets overlooked or pushed aside as we vigorously and busily live our lives. It is important to identify what truly is important to you. You may be tempted to select values that you believe you should have or that seem “correct”. Clarifying your values is not a test with right and wrong answers, it is a process that is benefited by your frankness and honesty.
As you clarify your values and become more aware of what is most meaningful and important to you, you may discover that upholding one value may make upholding another value difficult. Sometimes your values will conflict, or you will find it difficult to give some of your values the full amount of awareness as you are focused on others. You can learn to balance your values by learning to respect them individually, even when you can’t give them the same amount of awareness or attention at the same time. Nesh Nikolic, stated on his ACT website that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has sometimes called this balancing act ‘dancing with your values’.