After treatment, you’ll find yourself restructuring your life from taking care of your body through eating healthy and exercising to working through your mental health struggles through therapy. However, sometimes there’s a third element missing that you might be apprehensive about tackling. Addiction destroys the mind, body, and spirit. You might have a disconnect when it comes to spirituality, either based on your upbringing or personal opinions, but it plays a vital role in recovery.
It can be hard to add spirituality to your life if it’s out of your comfort zone. The truth is the personal transformation of recovery hinges upon an inner awakening often achieved by accessing or discovering some form of a higher power, more profound meaning, or greater truth. Even if you aren’t religious, it’s important to consider the bigger picture and ask yourself the more profound questions that can shape how you live your life.
If you find yourself uncomfortable exploring spirituality, it might be because you have a complicated relationship with religion. Sometimes people feel negatively towards religion due to trauma related to their upbringing or a religious community they were brought up in.
When exploring spirituality, it’s important to understand that there’s a big difference between spirituality and religion. Religion is related explicitly to a set of beliefs practiced by an institution or a faith. It may focus on a particular deity and the community that worships together. Spirituality focuses more on individual belief, like how you might fit in with the bigger picture or your personal values and morals.
The foundation of developing your personal spiritual beliefs involves addressing what your morals, values, and beliefs are. This foundation of beliefs is based on what feels right to you. Developing these values early on can help you also feel connected to a sense of identity and guide you in your life choices. Perhaps your belief is that everyone is connected or that everyone is deserving of empathy. How does that apply to yourself, your daily life, and your connectedness to others?
Ask yourself deep questions to help create this foundation to base your spirituality on. Answer them honestly, and you’ll create the framework to start your unique approach to spirituality.
Programs that follow the 12-Step program often mention a higher power, or in the case of AA, they mention God. That can be a turn-off for some who don’t feel religious. In most 12-Step style programs, a higher power doesn’t mean the Christian God, but rather any higher power that is greater than yourself and is loving.
Maybe your higher power is God, or maybe it’s the Universe, or maybe it’s the power of human beings on a global scale. Whatever it is, a higher power helps to find something more significant to connect to because it gives you a sense of belonging to something stronger than yourself. You can relinquish that control and accept that some things are out of your control. Those “some things” might be up to God, the Universe, or the power of everyone on the planet as a whole.
If you have a hard time connecting to something larger than yourself, know that you’re not alone. It can be hard to see the big picture and connect to it, or you might not have the same perspective. Maybe you don’t see something bigger. However, a part of spirituality is exploring that.
A great way to connect to and develop your spirituality is to take on a regular practice. Attending a place of worship can be a starting point if you feel comfortable. Some congregations are non-denominational, but if you feel more at home with a particular denomination, it’s a great idea to seek that out. If you aren’t interested in attending service with a religious organization, there are independent practices that can be valuable to expanding or establishing your spiritual connection.
Attending a yoga class can help you feel grounded, connected with your body, and at peace. Practicing gratitude can help you feel thankful for everything that you do have in life. Meditation and mindfulness exercises can help you slow your mind down and de-stress. Even praying daily can do wonders if you feel connected to a higher power but don’t feel interested in regularly attending a religious service. There are many ways to commit time to center your spirituality in your daily life that fit your beliefs.
If you’ve felt a major spiritual disconnect, it can be hard to reach deep and unearth your true beliefs and feelings. Addiction destroys the mind, body, and spirit, and all three need to be addressed. Whether you reconnect through meditation, yoga, a 12-Step program, or attending services again, finding deeper meaning in life is essential to recovery. Reconnecting with your spiritual side is a large part of aftercare because your beliefs drive your values, goals, and purpose. Seeing a bigger picture can give you a sense of belonging to something greater than yourself. It can give life meaning. This pathway is deeply individual and personal, but knowing your own connectedness to the world around you can be a huge driving force in recovery. Cornerstone offers a 12-Step program in Scottsdale, Arizona, as well as meditation therapy and yoga practices in our rehab programs. For more information about these services or how spirituality can help with your recovery, contact us at (800) 643-2108 to learn more.