In this episode of the podcast "What Makes You Happy", host Jake Pearson speaks with Jodie Stevens, a podcaster and recovery advocate. Jodie shares her own struggles with happiness and her methods for increasing it, including hiking, practicing gratitude, and practicing acceptance. She also discusses her work as an addiction and recovery advocate, and how it relates to finding happiness. Jodie emphasizes the importance of looking for the good in life and working on changing negative thought patterns in order to improve overall well-being.
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Jake Pearson 00:00
Are you trying to figure out the secret to happiness? We're here at What Makes You Happy with Jake Pearson. We want to make that happiness more accessible for you in your life. So stick around as we interview everyday people, inspirational leaders and your favorite celebrities on what makes them happy.
Welcome back to the podcast where we ask the question, what makes you happy?
My name is Jake Pearson, and today we have with us Jodie Stevens, who is a podcaster and recovery advocate. Jodie, how are you?
Jodie Stevens 00:37
I am so good. Thanks for having me from across the world.
Jake Pearson 00:42
Where are you coming from?
Jodie Stevens 00:43
I am in Reno, Nevada.
Jake Pearson 00:45
So thank you for coming on the show to share what makes you happy? What does make you happy?
Jodie Stevens 00:50
Well, a lot of things. I think I come from a perspective of struggling in my life with happiness at times, right? Like we all do. And so I've had to work on ways to become more happy, right? You know, we always hear in America, the Declaration of Independence, it says, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So it doesn't say that you will necessarily be happy, but it's the pursuit of happiness. And so I think happiness is kind of an illusion, but contentment, joy, those things can be achieved. And there's a lot of different ways to do it. But I think we have to go out and find it. And sometimes it can be a bit of a challenge.
So some of the things that I like to do, because I know how my brain works is, nature is very helpful. I think, for me, and for a lot of people, one of the beautiful things about nature and hiking and stuff like that is it releases endorphins, right after you work out, whether or not you workout. But I think the beauty of nature and creation also adds to that. So we're releasing endorphins, it's helping us feel better. And so that is, I think, a huge way to increase our happiness also. So like my husband and I have been to like, I think 72 national parks, and we love to hike around. There's so much beauty, I'm telling you, Jake.
So, if you were in America, some of the really great ones like Glacier National Parks, incredible. Rainier is one of the most beautiful places when it's not raining for like wildflowers and stuff like that. So hiking endorphins, that's huge.
The other thing that's really helpful is practicing gratitude. I always say I think gratitude saved my life because I was one of those, the glass isn't half empty, there's just nothing in it, you know? There's nothing in it, you know. And so what really helped me was I started to incorporate gratitude into my life a lot. So when I would get down or things would seem bleak, I would look at okay, what am I thankful for? What do I have? And it's not a cure, all right? It's not perfect. But it can be very, very helpful in just reminding us of what we do have. And so that's good.
So a lot of times, if we feel sad, or something comes up, something maybe from our childhood, or something may trigger that belief that may have been true or felt true then. But maybe it's not true today. So looking at how we can work on changing the underlying belief, then figure out what's the negative thought pattern that's kind of associated with it. And then from there, we go to the behavioral part of it. So it's how do I incorporate that so that I can change my behavior. So those are some techniques for that. And then finally, I think the biggest one that encompasses all of it, and there's so many different behavioral techniques to help us but a big thing that encompasses all of it is also practicing acceptance, which can be very, very, very helpful to bring us peace, which can ultimately help with happiness because we're working on.
And the other thing is, as an addiction and recovery advocate, helping people recover and overcome things like addiction and like anxiety, and like depression and stuff like that, is really recognizing our negative thought patterns and learning ways to change those negative thought patterns, right? Because a lot of times it can start with beliefs. And so looking back and going, okay, there seems to be a lot of challenges or negativity in my life, what's sort of the belief that-- What do I believe that I'm stupid, that I'm no good are things like that. So we kind of work on, let's challenge some of those beliefs, and then look at what triggers those beliefs.
We identify the things that we can't change in life. So if there's something that's really making us upset, it's like, okay, like the whole saying, God grant me the serenity to accept what I can't change, which is this going on. But there are things that I can do to changes situation. And then there's the wisdom to know the difference. And so we can make ourselves super miserable if we're ruminating on things that we really can't do much about. And so what the quicker you can come to that point of just accepting what is in the moment, and then working on moving forward from that point, it can really reduce a lot of anxiety, strife, depression, and all those sorts of things that come when we keep trying to change things that we can't change. So anyway, those are some ways to happiness, I wouldn't necessarily say they make me happy, but there are some techniques to get to happiness. So hopefully, those were helpful.
Jake Pearson 06:10
It was super insightful. And I think the biggest one that stood out for me there was acceptance, accepting that you can't change. And sometimes that's the starting point, when once you realize you can't change something, you get to begin to see the things that you have a control over. And then that gives you that bit of a pathway and you can then work on developing aspects in your life that lead to that happiness as we sort of just touched on there.
Well, if you'd love to connect with Jodie, you can do so in the podcast episode description below and just connect with her on social media and follow more of her work. You've got a couple of podcasts which a few people might be interested in tuning into.
Jodie, thank you for coming on and sharing all things your happiness.
Thanks for listening to the podcast. We hope it gives you something to think about on your quest to discover what makes you happy. Don't forget to leave a review or a comment and follow us on all our social media platforms so you can see our upcoming guests calendar. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time!