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9 Qualities of an Emotionally Sober Person

Emotional sobriety is about finding and maintaining our emotional equilibrium, so it has everything to do with being able to self-regulate and find balance when we’re off-kilter. Emotional sobriety is especially important to those of us in recovery because, when our emotions are out of control, so is our thinking and that could spell trouble. Besides, when you read these 9 qualities of an emotionally sober person, why wouldn’t you want emotional sobriety? I mean, it sounds awesome.

#1: They’re happy, joyous, and free

I know, this is quite the cliché in the rooms but, being ‘happy, joyous, and free’ are certainly qualities of an emotionally sober person. This sort of way of being can be achieved if you’re willing to do the work…and then actually do it. Recovering is very different from abstaining. When you’re recovering from drug addiction, which means you are working on a solution – whatever that looks like for you – rather than simply are not using (abstaining).

#2: They have a positive outlook on life

Now, this isn’t to say that they never have their “bad days” but, an emotionally sober person differs from someone who is merely dry in that, their overall attitude is a positive one. You know what I mean. There are plenty of people out there who are generally negative and hyper-critical basically about everything. Then there are those people who seem to roll with the punches and, rather than dwell on their setbacks, move on rather quickly. Basically, they don’t let negative feelings ruin their day.

#3: They laugh a lot

Although closely tied to numbers 1 and 2, being able to laugh – and often – is yet another quality of someone with emotional sobriety. There’s definitely something behind the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine” and these people seem to have tapped into that.

#4: They know how to be serious at times and silly at other times

Being in recovery means taking your addiction seriously. However, I’m a firm believer in adding levity to serious and even somber situations. And by that, I mean having a good sense of humor and trying to maintain high spirits. The people I know whom I’d describe as having emotional sobriety don’t always take things (and especially themselves) so seriously.

#5: They have good things to say

Whether it’s their share in a meeting or advice they give you about an issue at work or in your relationship, an emotionally sober person tends to have a good head on their shoulders and a mature way of looking at things.

#6: They meditate and/or pray

In order to obtain and maintain emotional sobriety, people who strike me as emotionally balanced are in the habit of meditating as well as praying. These are great ways for building spirituality, inner peace and calm, and self-awareness, which are all important aspects and tools to a strong recovery as well as feeling balanced.

#7: They have good relationships with others

Emotionally sober people can also be spotted by the quality of their relationships with others. That’s to say, these folks are able to form deep and intimate connections with others while maintaining healthy boundaries.

#8: They live the principles

Those who work a 12 Step program are familiar with the concept of “living the spiritual principles.” Whether they work this type of recovery program or a different one, people with emotional sobriety live principled lives by incorporating qualities such as honesty, compassion, courage, integrity, and service to others.

#9: They keep their behavior in-check

Another quality of an emotionally sober person is that they very rarely react without first thinking things through. As human beings, we experience emotions and moods as a result; after all, we’re not robots. But those of us who are, let’s say not-so-well-adjusted are more likely to have a knee-jerk reaction that could lead to making a poor decision. Emotionally sober people are able to experience their emotions and then re-calibrate themselves so that they make the best decision in that moment.

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