Spirituality is unique for each person. How they express it, internalize it, and engage with it in recovery makes a difference. Some elements of spiritual care can boost recovery if a person wants to incorporate it into their journey. Spiritual care practices are varied and wide-ranging for people who want to practice them. It does not mean something religious, necessarily, but it can be symbolic gestures, the way a person perceives soul care, and how they see a higher power at work in their recovery (and life). It could simply be the belief that everyone has a purpose or revering and respecting nature. Incorporating the elements of spiritual care can be helpful to people who desire this as part of their journey.
One of the many things people tell those in recovery is to practice good self-care. Religion and spirituality are topics that are hard to avoid because they are commonplace in discussions around self-care. The concepts come up because they often open people to the idea of a higher power that loosens the grip of their self-control over a substance use disorder. When someone realizes they cannot control all aspects of their addiction (or life), they are more likely to release themselves from the struggle and accept help. It can feel challenging to accept spirituality as self-care, but focusing on one cause of addiction can be less helpful than looking at a holistic approach of mind, body, and spirit.
The meaning of life is something most humans seek at some point in their lives. Everyone may look in different places for it, but the common theme is desiring to know what their life means, and / or what their purpose is. It’s up to the individual to find what they believe to be their purpose here on Earth. Some people see having a higher power as giving themselves something to belong to that is stronger than themselves. Purpose can be found in a higher calling that drives daily actions. Finding a higher purpose for living gives people something to focus on, take comfort in and drives a greater desire to pursue recovery.
Giving back to others is part of developing a deeper spiritual core in recovery. Giving to others, volunteering, and serving are ways to help people avoid substance use disorders. There are many ways to give back to other people in recovery by volunteering or serving in the community. The experience is rewarding in ways different from anything else a person can do in recovery. Offering something back without asking for something in return develops character and deepens a person’s connection to themselves and their purpose.
Meditation and mindfulness can improve treatment outcomes. Meditation relaxes people, relaxes their body, and releases their mind from stressors in their life. Blood pressure can go down, and heart rates lower when practicing mindfulness. Living in the present helps people focus thoughts while reducing stress and anxiety. Prayer, meditation, and mindfulness are great coping skills that help people release themselves from negative triggers and accept where they are in the moment.
Being Part of Community
Substance use is an activity that happens solo. It affects many people, but in the end, it is something that happens alone. Those who want to reclaim their lives, have to think back to what they need and find hope again in recovery. Substance use disorders can cause isolation because they drive people to feel alone, push others away, and harm relationships. To be more involved in the community means people push away the negative side effects of substance use disorders and embrace others. Communing together with others is one part of the bigger picture of dealing with recovery in a positive way.
Gratitude is cultivated over some time. Focusing on things to be grateful for increases positive energy in a person’s life. The act of being grateful increases a person’s awareness and helps them see more things in a new positive perspective. Depression and anxiety are reduced, and a sense of well-being in the world is possible with gratitude. Seeing things through the lens of what there is to be thankful for can increase a person’s long-term recovery prospects. Gratitude is an important part of the discussion when it comes to taking attention away from oneself, putting the focus on others and cultivating a better overall feeling of wellness in recovery.
Cultivating spirituality and the elements of spiritual care are important for long-term recovery. Spirituality does not happen overnight. When people cultivate their spiritual center, they spend years doing it in the context of community, therapy, and recovery support networks. The hope is that a person will come to embrace spirituality in a way that works for themselves. Since recovery is such a personal experience, it is important to do what works for each person and find healing in the development of their journey.
Ashley Addiction Treatment is an innovative treatment program located on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. Ashley provides support for professionals seeking help with addiction. We are able to help people with co-occurring disorders and offer confidential treatment programs to meet your needs. Please reach out to us today at (800) 799-4673.