Spiritual wellness refers to expanding a sense of purpose in life through developing personal morals and ethics. Most of us have questions about the meaning of life, and developing spirituality allows us to deeply explore those questions and find the answers that resonate with us.
Maintaining spiritual wellness can help us feel more connected to other people and the world around us. In addition, spirituality can give clarity and consistency to decision-making, as decisions are based upon our beliefs and values.
Religion and spirituality are not the same, though they can go hand-in-hand. Religion is a specific set of beliefs, rituals, and practices meant to unite people who hold the same values. By following certain principles, religion brings the group closer to a higher power.
Spirituality, on the other hand, is not group-focused. Instead, it focuses more on the individual, requiring them to look inwards to find purpose. As a result, spirituality allows a person to become integrated with their highest, most authentic self.
If you are looking to improve your spiritual dimension of wellness, there are many activities you can try out. A great aspect of improving spiritual wellness is that it’s free and easy to do on your own—you don’t need to go anywhere or buy anything special.
Some techniques that can help improve and expand spiritual wellness include:
Yoga can increase awareness of and connection with the body. Research has proven the benefits of yoga, showing that it supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss, and quality sleep. 1
Meditation allows you to become more in tune with yourself, focusing on your inward experience instead of outward distractions. Meditation can also increase mindfulness, improving your ability to accept things as they come.
Staying grateful encourages a positive mindset and allows you to better connect with your values and priorities.
Devotional activities include prayer or reading a holy text, increasing spirituality and improving mood and outlook.
Journaling is a great way to become more connected to your thoughts and feelings, and putting feelings on paper can bring relief from difficult emotions.
Volunteering is a great way to connect with others while doing something kind.
Addiction can harm well-being and quality of life, as it causes an uncontrollable urge to use a substance and alters brain function. Therefore, improving spiritual health can help addiction treatment and put the focus back on the individual instead of the substance.
Working on spiritual wellness can loosen the grip of addiction by improving people’s outlook on life and offering a greater purpose. More benefits of spirituality and addiction treatment include:
Spiritual wellness helps people realize that they are not alone and there is more to life than substance use. Studies show that having a sense of purpose can lead to better recovery outcomes, which is exactly what spirituality can offer. Additionally, having a more positive outlook can lessen urges to use and prevent relapse. 2
Multiple studies have found that those with a substance use disorder (SUD) who practiced mindfulness meditation during their treatment program showed improved physiological recovery, response to natural reward versus drug reward, emotion regulation, memory, and decision-making skills. 3
People who take care of their spiritual well-being are more likely to feel a greater appreciation for life and the people they love. This can improve quality of life, leading to better recovery outcomes.
Spirituality as a foundational part of identity can make people much more resilient than if they were to neglect their spiritual well-being. This is because spirituality encourages us to bounce back in times of distress, knowing that we are part of something bigger.
Tips to Improve Spiritual Wellness
If you’re recovering from addiction and feel that the spiritual dimension of wellness is missing from your treatment plan, you can take steps to increase your spirituality. Spiritual wellness activities include:
Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) follow guidelines with spirituality as the backbone of the program. Coming together with others who have the same goal—recover and improve well-being—can significantly help during the treatment process and enhance spiritual wellness. Additionally, research shows that AA and NA are often very effective for treating substance abuse.4
Although it’s not necessarily easy for people to become religious, religion may increase spirituality in addiction recovery. For example, if you grew up following a certain religion but fell away from it as you got older, perhaps revisiting it as an adult could be a good idea. For those who grew up non-religious but are curious about different faiths, it could be beneficial to attend a religious gathering to see if it improves spiritual wellness.
Prayer can bring a sense of peace and feelings of connectedness with a higher power. Practicing meditation can improve spiritual wellness by grounding you in the present moment and relaxing the mind and body. Scientific research supports the health benefits meditation can offer, such as improving anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and headaches. 5
There is a reason people say “nature is healing.” Spending time outdoors in nature allows us a break from the fast-paced world we live in, giving us a chance to reconnect with ourselves and our surroundings.
Along with taking the steps above to increase spirituality, you can benefit from spending time at a spiritual wellness center. At Genesis Recovery, we offer evidence-based and holistic treatments for addiction, focusing on spiritual wellness to achieve lasting recovery.
With a focus on faith-based healing, we are here to support you during the healing process, using proven-effective approaches to combat addiction while strengthening your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Our holistic approach and highly structured care is tailored to support your individual needs, allowing you to increase your spirituality in addiction recovery. Don’t hesitate! Call us today at 619-797-7319.