Embracing a new life in recovery often begins with redefining your sense of purpose and meaning in life. If you can connect with some form of spirituality in recovery, and then include its practice in your regular routine, you’ll find that it supports your journey toward discovering your renewed purpose.
What are the benefits of spirituality in recovery?
There is a fundamental reason why Alcoholics Anonymous.’s 12-step program is rooted in spirituality. The founders realized the necessity of having a spiritual connection to a Higher Power when attempting to overcome alcohol addiction. They witnessed that this spiritual connection provided a sense of humility and accountability for the individual as they journeyed toward experiencing a spiritual awakening in Step Twelve.
Consider some of the benefits from nurturing your spiritual realm:
- Helps you discover purpose: Spiritual growth leads to new insights, which can help you identify new purpose and meaning.
- Fosters a sense of accountability: When you feel connected to your Higher Power, it naturally leads to feelings of accountability — to the Higher Power and to the people who love you and support you.
- Increases compassion: A spiritual worldview usually entails practicing faith-based virtues, like empathy, compassion and humility.
- Helps you become less self-centered: Spirituality helps you shift from being focused only on yourself and the substance, towards becoming more thoughtful and caring of others.
- Promotes a more intentional life: The practice of spirituality cultivates a more mindful and intentional life experience.
What are 5 ways to practice spirituality?
There are myriad ways to cultivate your spiritual self in recovery — consider these methods:
- Meditation: Meditation is the practice of exerting control over wandering thoughts and attaining a peaceful state of mind. Be patient, as it takes time to train your mind and calm the noise in your head. Start with a few minutes of reflection in a quiet setting, and try to focus on an object or word that helps prevent your mind from wandering.
- Prayer: Whether you are a fan of a mainstream religion or prefer an independent form of worship, prayer is central to the spiritual experience. Anyone can pray, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Prayer is a personal conversation with your Higher Power, whoever or whatever that represents to you.
- Yoga: Yoga is an ancient Eastern practice that blends features purposeful movements and positions with mindfulness. The physiological effects of yoga help to regulate the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, resulting in a relaxed and peaceful state. This provides the perfect stage for spiritual insights and growth, whether you practice an Eastern religion or any other type.
- Gratitude: To achieve a healthy, sustained recovery where we consistently make positive choices, it is essential to cultivate a positive and grateful attitude. Gratitude helps us to remember why we are in recovery and what we have to look forward to and live for. Cultivate gratitude by writing down at least three positive events you experience each day.
- Nature: Some of us actually find our connection with a Higher Power in nature. The sheer beauty of our natural surroundings can inspire a deep sense of spirituality. Immerse yourself in nature, and experience a sense of awe that can’t help but lead to an appreciation of the divine.
Developing spiritual habits, in whichever way works for you personally, can enhance all areas of your well-being and protect your recovery journey.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders. Our programs are accredited by The Joint Commission, and result in frequent publications of ongoing research into effective treatment methodologies. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call 866-313-6307.