Addiction recovery is a very personal journey; not everyone experiences it the same. However, one significant factor most treatment programs rely on is the power of spirituality. From the moment someone starts treatment, they’ll start hearing the word spirituality quite often. In many rehab centers and self-help groups, it’s the foundation of the treatment. But still, many in early recovery keep asking themselves how to find spirituality in recovery, especially when they don’t consider themselves religious people.
What Does Spirituality Mean in Recovery?
For recovery, addiction means tapping into uncharted territory to many. It involves reaching out to something bigger than oneself and exploring the universe as a whole. It means asking difficult questions that might don’t have an answer; many say it is all about mastering the connection between mind, body, and spirit.
Spirituality vs. Religion
Some people believe that they can’t tap into their spiritual beliefs without believing in God. Those starting a 12-step program believe that everyone has different views and belief systems. Not everyone subscribes to religion. These programs just ask people to believe in a higher power, whatever that is. But it can help when people struggle and need to find faith in their progress.
Tips to Find Spirituality in Recovery
In most holistic rehab programs, spirituality becomes a significant part of the treatment very early on. Even still, without taping into religion, patients are encouraged throughout the process to tap into their spirituality to cope with the stressors of detoxifying,
Practice Meditation and Mindfulness
After living under the influence of drugs or alcohol for too long, many recovering addicts forget how to be present. Through meditation and mindfulness, they can start learning how to become more aware of what happens around them. Meditation can release muscle tension, decrease the sympathetic branch of the nervous system’s activity, and reduce heart rate and blood pressure. While at the same time, mindfulness can help them start living the present and focusing on the now, which can help them focus and reduce stress and anxiety levels.
It’s been said that volunteering is beneficial for our mental health. Taking time to give back to the community or help someone else in need can be an extremely gratifying experience and a humble one. Helping other people to help yourself is what drives many people through to beating their addiction. Volunteering also creates a spiritual framework that promotes a sense of purpose in life, which can be huge for recovery.
Attend 12-Step Group Meetings
While 12-step meetings follow a more religious approach, using God’s figure as a reference for most of their principles, those without affiliation to religion can still benefit. It’s recommended that those without a religious affiliation change the word “God” to whatever it is that best suits them. One of the famous phrases from Alcoholics Anonymous 12 steps is “let go and let God.” It can be challenging to identify with this sentence at first, but you just have to think of a higher power that could be universal.
Gratitude is a vast spiritual practice of many recovering programs. SMART Recovery offers a universal approach focusing on gratitude for those with issues with the religious portion of traditional 12-step programs. Gratitude can help individuals notice the gifts and positive aspects present in their life and help refocus attention away from purely negative emotions. In recovery, many are encouraged to start a gratitude journal to focus on the good and shift their attention from whatever bad is happening, thus reducing negative stress.
The Importance of Spirituality in Recovery
While it’s not traditional therapy, spiritual growth involves trust, respect, and self-acceptance. These are all elements that can help anyone struggling with the self-loathing and isolation that comes with addiction. The more we educate ourselves about the truth of spirituality, the more we’ll incorporate it into treatment.
A holistic approach to substance abuse treatment has proven quite significant when compared to a more traditional program. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we tap into the different options to elaborate comprehensive and holistic treatment plans that go beyond the obvious. More than the addiction itself, we focus on also giving our patients the tools they’ll need for a successful recovery.
Spirituality will help them gain strength and guide them when it’s time to face the real world’s realities. By tapping into tools like gratitude, mindfulness, volunteering, and more, they’ll have the right tools to meet even the worst triggers and know how to navigate those without affecting their long-term recovery process.
If you or someone you know struggles to find spirituality in recovery, we suggest you try an aftercare recovery program. Here, you’ll learn about applying spirituality elements to your everyday life; whether you are religious or not, spirituality is about looking into a greater version of yourself.