How Does Spirituality Affect Addiction Recovery?

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Spirituality can play a crucial role throughout addiction recovery. Taking a spiritual stance is not necessary for a transformative, sustained sobriety. However, those wishing to incorporate a spiritual component into their recovery can find a number of profound benefits from the practice. 

Incorporating spirituality into one’s journey to sobriety can be a great way to open oneself up to a better understanding of their own needs and goals. Doing so can also help to establish supportive communities, instilling a feeling of belonging needed to address the complicated and difficult recovery path. Through spirituality, an individual can work to build an effective personal accountability system. 

Is Spirituality Necessary in Recovery?

There is no rule that says someone who is not spiritual will not have a successful and transformative recovery experience. Spirituality is not a prerequisite to a healthy and sober future. However, some use it as a supplemental practice that is pertinent to them, while others find it to be a fantastic foundation upon which to build one’s entire recovery. 

Many programs, including 12-Step programs which are typically touted as a Christian-based recovery system, can still benefit those who do not take adhere to a particular religion. The teachings therein do not demand that an individual convert or embrace any religious stance in order to benefit from the program. 

There is also no form of spirituality that is better or worse when it comes to addiction recovery. Incorporating a spiritual component can come in whatever form makes one the most comfortable. Some may prefer the Catholic or Christian teachings during their recovery journey. Others may find that embracing their Jewish heritage or ingratiating themselves within Wicca practices is the best route for them. 

Spirituality throughout one’s recovery is a personal journey. Spiritual beliefs can work to inform one’s goals and create communities, regardless of the religion or spirituality practiced. 

Embracing Spirituality

Religious practices are not necessary in recovery. However, there can be a number of benefits to embracing a spiritual component, even for those who were not spiritual before their journey to sobriety began. Addiction recovery is a time of transformation. Experimenting with a spiritual approach to one’s recovery can introduce an individual to a new mindset that aligns with their newly developing identity. Using recovery to explore all of the avenues for one’s new identity can create the most informed and genuine reflection of their goals for the future. 

Attending a spiritual gathering of any kind, incorporating prayer into one’s daily routine as a method of mindfulness practice, or using spiritual exercises and studies to structure the rest of one’s day can help scaffold important self-care routines. 

These routines and rituals can also provide a sense of stable consistency in their implementation. Saying a prayer before dinner or meditating to begin one’s day can all add an element of consistency, comfort, and security for developing one’s daily routine. 

Using Spirituality to Find Community

Spiritual communities can be a powerful bridge to one’s new identity. Incorporating a spiritual component can also open a number of opportunities to explore new and profound social groups, all with like-minded people who share similar goals, values, or worldviews. 

Community is a crucial part of addiction recovery. Having a place where an individual feels they belong is essential. This is especially true if one is pursuing these spiritual avenues outside of the recovery sphere. These communities can be a great way to measure one’s new sober identity as an important member of an accepting community. 

Finding a place of belonging, whether it be a congregation, synagogue, or coven, can be an incredible experience. Addiction and recovery can both feel like incredibly isolating experiences. It can be difficult to connect with others who do not share these experiences. 

Actively practicing a form of spirituality can help an individual find a place of belonging in their newfound sobriety. It can also help to break through these feelings of isolation and establish new relationships and a sense of camaraderie. 

Establishing Accountability

Accountability is crucial throughout the recovery process. One’s religion or spirituality can help an individual establish their own methods for keeping themselves accountable to a “higher power,” whatever that may be. Using spiritual or personal mantras in which to measure one’s actions can help an individual keep their sober goals in focus while also understanding the ramifications of their decisions made during their recovery. 

However, this can also be a reassuring, reinforcing practice as well. In this way, an individual never feels like they have to be without guidance when it comes to stress or hardship during the recovery process. One’s spiritual beliefs and practices can continue to create a sense of support and forgiveness each and every day to navigate guilt, shame, and to build a new future. 

Spiritual components can widen one’s perspective, help set goals, and provide a community of belonging. At Everlast Recovery Centers, we champion the idea that each individual can personalize their own recovery journey and feel supported along the way. We are prepared to help you explore spirituality as a potential aid on your sober path. Your time with us can be customized to fit your needs, from embracing spirituality to personalizing your time in individual and group therapy, engaging in art, music, yoga, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapies, or creating an effective and supportive community to form new routines and strategies for maintaining sobriety. From detox and residential care to alumni support, parenting classes, and education, we embrace the need to address addiction and mental health in a holistic manner and are ready to help you create a personalized, evidence-based treatment plan for sustained healing. For more information, call (866) 388-6925.

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