How Can Improving Spiritual Wellness Help in Addiction Treatment?
Learn about the ways that spiritual wellness practices can ease your addiction treatment and lifestyle.
Spirituality and Recovery
Spirituality and recovery from addiction have been linked together for decades. The idea of spiritual experiences helping people overcome their addiction is a core belief of 12-Step programs, and there is substantial data supporting the fact that spiritual health is directly related to recovery.
Improving your spiritual dimension of wellness can be an effective way of solidifying your sobriety and ensuring long-term recovery.
What Is Spiritual Wellness?
When people speak of spiritual wellness, spiritual health, or spirituality and addiction recovery, they are generally referring to the following definition:
Spiritual Wellness Definition
Defined generally, spiritual wellness refers to a connection with yourself, others, nature, and a higher power – whatever it may be. It can be developed through lifestyle changes, connecting with others, and delving into the meaning and purpose of your life. Spiritual wellness is associated with several positive effects on mental health2 and can be a protective factor for your addiction recovery.1
Goals for Your Spiritual Wellness
Working to expand your spiritual well-being is a personal journey, and the goals of spiritual health vary among individuals. You could aim to increase your connection with nature, devote more time to religious beliefs, or simply seek to better understand yourself.2
How to Improve Spiritual Wellness
Several spiritual wellness activities can help you along the path to better understanding, connection, and feelings of transcendence. Some spiritual wellness examples include:
Mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool to develop spiritual wellness in recovery. This simple practice can help you to quiet your mind, gain insight into your thought patterns, and may be beneficial at helping prevent relapse. The practice of meditation is simple but powerful, and you can start with a few easy steps:3
- Find a comfortable place to sit
- Close your eyes
- Focus your attention on the sensations of breathing
- When your thoughts begin to drift, return to focusing on your breath
This simple practice can be done anytime, anywhere, and can bring several spiritual wellness benefits. If you find yourself drawn to meditation, several spiritual wellness retreats are available to help you dive deeper into the practice.
Expressing gratitude for your life and others is a simple practice for spirituality in addiction recovery. Gratitude journaling can teach people to be thankful for what they have, appreciate their progress in spirituality and addiction treatment, and spread goodwill among their peers.
Yoga is a mindfulness practice that focuses on the body as well as the mind. Yoga can be thought of as moving meditation – and carries the same benefits as a formal meditation practice, while also encouraging mobility and physical health.
How Can Improving Spiritual Wellness Help in Addiction Treatment?
Spirituality has been associated with reduced levels of varying types of substance use, and spirituality in addiction treatment can be a valuable tool.4
Benefits of Spiritual Wellness in Addiction Treatment
Spiritual wellness has several benefits for people seeking recovery, including:5
- Being negatively related to substance use
- Increasing stress tolerance
- Reducing relapse rates
- Providing a sense of meaning and purpose
- Leading to more social support
- Lower levels of anxiety
- Higher optimism about life in general
These benefits make the spiritual dimension of wellness an important target for any treatment center that hopes to achieve holistic health for their clients.
Why Is Spiritual Wellness Important?
Spiritual wellness in recovery can help people overcome some of the most harmful effects of a substance use disorder. It can help people to make new social groups, reduce levels of shame or guilt, and give them hope for the future.
Spirituality isn’t a requirement for recovery by any means – but the host of benefits can make it much easier for people to overcome their challenges and achieve long-lasting recovery.
Spiritual Wellness in Recovery
Spiritual wellness in recovery is by no means a new idea. In fact, it was a founding principle of the 12-Step support groups that have helped millions of people across the globe achieve recovery from substance use disorders.
Spiritual Wellness an Alcoholics Anonymous
The founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson, thought that a spiritual experience was the only thing that could surely help people to recover from crippling alcoholism – more than any medical or psychological treatment at the time.
Wilson based many of his ideas of spiritual experience on the works of renowned psychologist William James, who wrote the book The Varieties of Religious Experience.
The essential belief was that having a profound spiritual experience (not exclusive to any particular ideology) could fundamentally change a person for the rest of their life. This change was often enough to get people to stop drinking, seek out a moral path in life, and achieve continuous spiritual health.
Relapse Prevention and Spiritual Wellness at Alta Centers
Spiritual wellness can play an important role in relapse prevention. One of the core beliefs of relapse prevention programs is that the best deterrent to substance use is building a meaningful life worth living in recovery that directly opposes addiction, and spirituality is a valuable tool in building this recovery capital.
Spiritual Wellness and Personal Growth
People who strive for improving their spiritual wellness in recovery can build a life of meaning and purpose that is inherently valuable. If the time ever comes when they face a high-risk relapse situation, they are bolstered by the fact that returning to substance use would mean losing out on the incredible life they’ve built for themselves.
By reaching spiritual well-being, they make the idea of relapse unpalatable and are better equipped to prevent relapse in the first place.
Don’t Hesitate to Reach Out
If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, don’t hesitate to reach out to the addiction experts at Alta Centers. We pride ourselves on being not only an addiction treatment facility but a holistic spiritual wellness center.
Our experience has shown that spirituality and recovery from addiction are often two sides of the same coin, and that anyone can achieve these goals with the help of a compassionate addiction treatment team. Don’t let substance use disorder continue to control your life – contact us today to start on your journey to recovery and spiritual health.
Questions About Treatment?
Our knowledgeable team is ready to discuss your situation and options. Your call is confidential with no obligation required.