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spirituality's role in addiction recovery
February 26, 2021

Spirituality’s Role in Addiction Recovery

You may have heard that spirituality is an essential ingredient in addiction recovery, but newly sober people often have questions about how spirituality helps support a healthy lifestyle. What role can spirituality play in helping you protect your sobriety, and how can you become a more spiritual person?

What Is Spirituality?

For many people, religion and spirituality are two sides of the same coin. However, if you aren’t religious, you might struggle a bit with the notion. It’s essential to understand that you can find comfort in spirituality, even if you prefer a secular way of life. It may be helpful to embrace the practice in terms of finding meaning, connection and purpose outside yourself. 

Cultivating your spirituality can also help you foster closer relationships with others, increase your compassion and cope with circumstances outside your control. In growing your spirituality, you’ll also become more mindful of yourself and your impact on others. 

How Spirituality Can Support Your Sobriety

Addiction can lead to feelings of loneliness, shame and worthlessness. In rebuilding your life in recovery, you’ll need to start by creating a foundation of community and a sense of purpose.

In recovery, it’s crucial to discover a sense of connection to replace the isolation engendered by substance use disorder. Acceptance is also a building block of recovery, and spirituality helps you view yourself as a valuable member of a larger community. 

As you work on becoming a more spiritual person, you will likely experience some physical and emotional health benefits, too. Becoming more aware of the value of self-care and the need to treat yourself and others with kindness might lead you to seek opportunities to explore wellness by eating nutritious foods, exercising and improving your sleep hygiene. 

While you progress in your recovery, you might also wish to consider volunteering for causes you believe in. Giving back to something larger than yourself will boost your self-esteem, make you happier and provide you with something to look forward to.

Connecting to a “Higher Power”

Working through the 12-step recovery process requires you to surrender to a “power greater than yourself.” While the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous were devout Christians and built their program on the principles they learned from their faith, AA and other 12-step groups don’t require you to believe in a god or gods. 

Plenty of non-religious people have found success in following the 12-step approach by interpreting the “higher power” concept as anything that inspires them or makes them feel loved and needed.

How to Bring More Spirituality Into Your Life

What are some ways you can incorporate spirituality as a daily habit? First, it’s crucial to remember that there are many facets of spirituality, and you’ll need to find the approach that resonates with you.  

  • Meditation: Meditation is an excellent overall practice for anyone actively working on recovering from a substance use disorder. It can help you identify and eliminate negative thought patterns and become more present and grounded. There are hundreds of meditation techniques, so experiment with different styles until you discover your favorite.
  • Gratitude: Counting your blessings can help you stay on a positive path by reminding you why you decided to pursue recovery. Even on the most challenging days, you can still find things to be thankful for. Keeping a gratitude journal and writing in it every night before you go to bed can establish an easy-to-follow routine. 
  • Being in nature: Surrounding yourself with the sensory experience of the great outdoors, even for a few minutes each day, can bring you calm and peace of mind. You might also choose to use nature’s beauty as your “higher power” in addiction recovery.

Make the Call That Can Change Your Life

Beach House is a thriving community of adults in all phases of their recovery journey who are discovering all the love, joy and meaning that await them in a substance-free life. We offer a complete continuum of evidence-based care, from medically managed detoxification to aftercare programs. Contact our caring, experienced admissions counselors when you’re ready to learn more.

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