Spirituality can have many positive effects on mental health during the process of recovery. While everyone has different religious and spiritual beliefs, finding a source of spirituality that positively influences your state of mind can accelerate your recovery and help you find meaning in the process.
How does spirituality benefit recovery?
#1. Social Networking
Whether you are involved with a religious or spiritual practice, many types of communities gather to share their values and philosophies and to uplift their members. Attending spiritual group activities can help you find a support system with people who have similar beliefs as you. This community can provide you with both direct and indirect levels of support by providing companionship and reducing levels of stress. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people can increase your constructive thoughts and encourage your progress in recovery.
#2. Sense of Purpose
Spirituality can help the mind find purpose in existence. As stated by BMC Psychiatry, spirituality can enable you to grow beyond the limitations of your illness or mental health struggles. Finding aspects of life that make you happy and allow you to contribute to others’ lives in a reinforcing way can give you a sense of purpose and belonging.
#3. Appreciation for Life
During the recovery phase, it can be easy to lose sight of the minor beauties in life. Spiritual practices often focus on finding appreciation within your surroundings, as well as within yourself. This may explain why having a strong sense of spirituality can accentuate your love and appreciation for the smaller pleasures life has to offer.
#4. Future Outlook
Along with a developed appreciation for life, spirituality can also provide you with a regained focus on the bigger picture. When we lose sight of this, it can feel like our lives lack depth and meaning. Spiritual practices can help you find your self-worth and set goals for what you desire in your future. Having something to look forward to can provide you with the motivation you need to keep moving forward in your recovery.
#5. Desire for Growth
Religious and spiritual practices often place a great deal of pressure on the individual to be their best self. The characteristics of what that means may differ based upon your belief system. However, the concept remains the same. For the Higher Power, God, or the energy around us, we all strive to be outstanding humans. The fact of it is, most of us do not know how to go about doing that. Spirituality can help you define what growth means for you and how you can incorporate that into your daily lifestyle.
#6. Coping Mechanisms
Throughout treatment and recovery, you have tested a large variety of coping mechanisms. At this point, you have likely found some that work well for you and others that do not. Spiritual practices can offer a new form of coping through mediation, spiritual readings, prayer, or other mechanisms. Developing more effective coping mechanisms can ground you during a time of crisis and strengthen your will to go on.
#7. Acceptance and Forgiveness
One of the most important challenges in recovery is allowing yourself to accept your past and forgive yourself for your mistakes. It is human nature to make mistakes, but rarely do people like to accept that fact. Forgiving yourself for actions that brought you down in the past and using them as a learning experience is one of the biggest factors to help you move forward. Spirituality can help you do this because it focuses on you finding inner peace with yourself and accepting yourself for who you truly are. It also allows you to set up a plan for who you want to become.
#8. Understanding of Your Failures
Along with accepting your failures, you also should work to understand them. Finding the deeper spiritual meaning of what led you to your past failures can help you prevent that failure from happening again.
#9. Increased Self-Control
Spiritual practice can improve the quality and level of your self-control. Recovery of any form requires a great deal of self-control that may be hard to manage at times. According to the National Center for PTSD, spirituality not only affects a person’s past trauma but also affects their response to trauma. Observing the effects spirituality has on trauma can help you channel that into a positive form.
#10. Improved Quality of Life
Most importantly, spirituality can lead to overall improved quality of life. This improvement is built from many of the points discussed above. Finding a sense of belonging, accepting your past, and allowing your mind to reach a state of spiritual bliss can greatly improve your wellbeing. Remember that your quality of life is based on much more than your belongings or background. It is based upon your viewpoint of yourself, those around you, and the world as a whole.
Channeling your spirituality into positive reinforcements for your recovery can accelerate the process and provide you with a long-term sense of worth. Find a spiritual practice that works for you and allow yourself to explore different options.
Spirituality has many benefits for you during the process of recovery. Each individual has a different form of spiritual belief; however, you can derive benefits from any form of spiritual practice. Developing a social network, finding a sense of purpose and appreciation for life, picturing your future, discovering new coping mechanisms, accepting your past, understanding your failures, increasing self-control, and improving your overall quality of life are several of the benefits spirituality can bring to your recovery process. Your takeaways from spiritual practices may be different from the points discussed, but there are many more positive attributes you may come across in your search for spiritual belonging. Finding a sense of spirituality that positively influences you can give you a level of support within yourself and provide you with a supportive and nurturing community. For more questions regarding spirituality and its effects on your treatment process, contact Dream Recovery at (949) 732-1960.