Recovering from an addiction is a journey that stretches over months and then years, and even though the possibility of relapse will never truly go away, embracing spirituality can help you to stay clean or sober. Spirituality in recovery can be an incredibly powerful tool to help you get in touch with yourself or your religion and can be utilized to give you something to focus on other than cravings and regrets.
Spirituality has many definitions for modern users and can be applied to describe getting in touch with God and religion, to explain connecting with yourself, experiencing gratitude, and getting in touch with your own life. Your own approach to spirituality should be one that meets your religious needs and beliefs, whether that means turning to God and making him a big part of your life, or focusing on your spiritual life to ensure that you are happy and healthy, physically and mentally.
Spirituality can help you to decrease stress, improve your focus, help you to regain self-control and change the focus of your life from an outward one to an inward one. Studies also show that a lack of spirituality makes you more likely to relapse, or even to turn to addiction in the first place. While there are many ways to incorporate spirituality into your recovery, you can use these 7 methods to integrate your spiritual self into recovery.
Finding a Sobriety Group
A sobriety group can help you to stay in touch with your spirituality, not only by giving you people to talk to but by introducing you to a program that will guide you through your recovery and your turn to spirituality. Groups including Alcoholics Anonymous have a strong focus on spirituality, which is often intended to combat the natural changes to the personal ego caused by addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous focuses on changing your spiritual perspective from one that only focuses on yourself to one that is open, loving, and accepting of a higher power. This is especially important for recovery because spirituality can help you to recover or deplete your ego to regain self-control and self-regulation. This ties into the concept of ego depletion, where the more you exhaust your willpower, the more likely you are to behave impulsively to return to your addiction.
A group can help to give you a safe space to talk about your problems, connect with your spirituality, and recover your ego so that you become more capable in your day to day life.
Learn to be Mindful
Mindfulness is the concept of living in the present, not worrying about the future, not stressing about the past, just living in the moment. Today, mindfulness used by some of the largest companies in the world to reduce stress, but it can also be used to recover spirituality and regain a sense of self that may have been lost to an addiction. Mindfulness can be attained through yoga, meditation, tai chi, and many other practices that can help you clear your mind and focus on the present. Great resources include headspace.com, gaia.com, and many others, although you can also seek out a teacher in your local area. Like many other things, mindfulness is a practice that you must keep doing to see benefits from, but it can help you to de-stress, change your focus, and even prevent relapse by learning to deal with cravings through mindfulness.
Attend a Service
No matter what your religion, going and sitting down at a service offered by a local church can help you immensely. Getting in touch with religion can help you to decrease stress by allowing you to focus on a higher power, to let go of issues that are bothering you, and to accept that there are things outside of your control. Persons who accept religion into their lives and attend services to accept that they aren’t in control have higher recovery rates with fewer relapses than persons with no spirituality.
Journal or Keep a Diary
Emotional literacy, or connecting with your emotions through a journal or diary can be a crucial part of connecting with yourself spiritually. Journaling allows you to write out your feelings, experiences, pain, and thoughts in a non-judgemental, and safe environment while allowing you to hold yourself accountable and create a plan for yourself. This is incredibly valuable for recovering addicts who can use it as both a form of self-counseling and self-research to reach a better spiritual connection with themselves.
Stop Using Guilt as a Crutch
Addiction usually involves avoiding your morals, ignoring your spirituality, and doing things that will later make you feel guilty. Guilt inhibits spirituality when you allow it to control you and take over, but when you realize that you can use guilt to provide a guideline for the future, you can use it to grow your spirituality and create your moral compass. By defining what you are guilty about, you can make plans to recover, avoid behaviors that hurt you spiritually, and move forward in your life.
Take an Active Role in Your Recovery
Choosing to be responsible, choosing to take an active role, and choosing to work for your sobriety are crucial for your spirituality, no matter the role it takes in your life. Spirituality is often very much about taking responsibility and making your own path, and this holds true when recovering from an addiction. Your addiction isn’t your fault but taking responsibility and making active choices to get your life back, improve your health, eat well, and take control of your life is a very spiritual part of your recovery.
Gratitude is a key element of spirituality no matter how you practice and it is important to deliberately be grateful for what you have. Spirituality involves re-affirming your beliefs, being grateful for the things that you have, and taking pleasure in simple things. You can utilize this in a number of ways, but many people find it helpful to create daily gratitude lists, to sit and contemplate what they are grateful for, and working to be thankful for what you have. This can help you to destress, help you to realize what you are staying sober for, and can help you to be happier with what you have.
Spirituality is a commitment to yourself and to your future because you are dedicating time to work on your mental and spiritual well-being. No matter how you choose to incorporate spirituality into your life, you should do so with an open mind, and with the intent of getting in touch with yourself first.
The Oceanfront Recovery Addiction Treatment Program can help you or your loved one through the process of recovery from addiction. Some of the therapy options we offer include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- Family Therapy Program
- EMDR Therapy Program
Our clinicians focus on bringing the underlying causes of addiction to the surface with a modern and effective recovery program in a closed setting. Contact Oceanfront Recovery today for a confidential assessment, and begin the journey of recovery today. Call 877.279.1777 to learn more.