A focus on personal spiritual beliefs, uncovering feelings of wholeness, faith, and embarking on the quest for meaning in life. Each individual’s expression of spirituality is unique and personal. Spirituality often grounds the addiction recovery process and encourages connection and a sense of belonging.

  • Spirituality can help give our lives a sense of purpose or context and comes from a connection with self and others. It usually involves the development of personal values and the search for meaning in life. For some this will be a connection to a higher power and grounding for recovery practices.
  • In early recovery, some may feel very isolated, and it is crucial to increase inner strength and external support and connection. A person’s belief in his or her ability to heal or recover, his or her positive expectation of a return to wellness, affects the brain circuitry and decreases stress levels. Spirituality can improve resiliency since it may encompass the activation of the relaxation response, positive thinking, social support, belief and positive expectation, decrease fear, altruistic love, and a sense of connectedness to something greater than oneself.

Cultivate Spirituality

Spirituality can act as the connector from the sense of being alone and isolated, as people often experience in addiction, to a sense of connection in recovery. Cultivating spirituality can help one focus on and prioritize personal goals by clarifying what is important and helping to reduce stress.

  • Some may develop a connection to spirituality through religion or may find a connection with nature (e.g., sitting or walking by the ocean or on top of a mountain). Each helps quiet the mind or shift perspectives.

  • The Serenity Prayer is commonly used in self-help recovery groups as a guiding support. (Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.)