Spirituality and the Recovery Process

two women at outdoor cafe - talking and praying

If you know someone who has experienced the recovery process, you may have heard them talking about spirituality as part of their treatment.

Spirituality is a key part of most 12-step programs. At The Ranch at Dove Tree, we offer holistic treatment options that work to address our residents’ spiritual needs, in addition to their physical and emotional well-being.

Research by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse found that people who identified as spiritually active were more likely to successfully achieve and maintain sobriety throughout treatment.

But what does “spirituality” mean?

The term “spirituality” is often associated with religion. While some of the practices associated with religion can be part of spirituality, spirituality is an individual practice that can be pursued in many different ways.

Spirituality has to do with an individual’s understanding of their role in the community and of their purpose in life. You can develop spiritually by intentionally taking time to reflect and by taking positive steps towards becoming the best version of yourself.

Spiritual practice can take many forms, such as:

  1. Mindfulness, or a form of meditation that focuses on being present in the moment and not becoming overwhelmed by emotions or worries.
  2. Gratitude, or purposeful thankfulness. Reflecting on the positive parts of life in spite of its difficulties can improve your mood and your spiritual health.
  3. Prayer. If you are struggling with substance abuse, connecting with a higher power can help you see beyond your circumstances and find hope for recovery.
  4. Creative work. Channeling your energy into a creative project can provide release from stressors and negative emotions.

Anyone can choose to make spirituality part of their recovery. At The Ranch at Dove Tree, we rely on the science-based principles of holistic rehabilitation; as our residents become physically better, we guide them to seek emotional and spiritual development as well.

What are the benefits of including spirituality in treatment?

When you are struggling with substance abuse, your addiction is the focus of your life. It becomes very hard to maintain healthy relationships, develop new interests, and see a purpose in life beyond using. As you recover, exploring your spirituality will help you redefine yourself apart from drugs or alcohol. Multiple studies have found a correlation between spirituality and decreased incidence of relapse. There are many ways that developing spiritually can help you become more physically and emotionally healthy (and stay that way!):

  1. Spirituality provides tools for dealing with the underlying causes of addiction, such as depression, anxiety, and stress. Practitioners of meditation and mindfulness become experts at neutralizing negative emotions and holding onto inner peace.
  2. Spirituality helps you love yourself. Taking time to honestly reflect on your flaws can be hard, but spiritual practice is focused on moving past pain to become your best self. Redemption–learning to forgive yourself–is a key part of this experience.
  3. Spirituality helps you love other people. If you are someone who has been struggling with substance abuse–or if you love someone who abuses drugs and alcohol–you know addiction becomes an inextricable part of relationships. It may leave you feeling angry, resentful, remorseful, or disappointed towards people you love. The self-understanding that comes from spiritual practice makes it easier to start rebuilding positive relationships. Many spiritual and religious groups also create tight-knit communities. Becoming invested in spirituality can provide a great opportunity for you to form positive new relationships after you leave residential treatment.
  4. Spirituality promotes happiness. Practices like gratitude and meditation are focused on moving past the negative thoughts and holding onto positives. Both during residential recovery and as you begin your new life, seeking happiness can give you the optimism and energy you need to do the hard work of staying well.
  5. Spirituality lets you channel your energy into something positive. If you struggle with substance abuse, addiction takes up a lot of space in your life. Dedicating time to creative and spiritual activities gives you something meaningful and fulfilling to fill that space.

Addiction is a disease that affects more than the physical body. That’s why our treatment programs focus on the whole person. If you’re ready to restore your health from addiction–mind, body and soul–reach out to us today.

the ranch at dove tree - drug and alcohol treatment center in lubbock, texas

To learn more about our programs at The Ranch at Dove Tree, please contact us today at 800.218.6727.