Spirituality and religion are not the same, yet they have both been shown to have a place in recovery for many people. In recovery, spirituality can be incredibly important as a person develops a clear sense of purpose, goodwill, and belonging in a supportive community. Religion can help some individuals build a connection with a Higher Power, which further contributes to their life purpose and recovery. If you’re in a treatment program or you have a loved one who is in one, there are many spiritual and/or religious components that can be used daily – ones that can motivate, encourage, and transform those around you to live a happier, healthier life.
A 2017 study published in the journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality assessed 364 individuals in a treatment program to see which dimensions of spirituality and religion contributed to their recovery and overall well-being. The dimensions studied are as follows:
- Spiritual/religious practices – included everyday experiences such as feelings of peacefulness and love, closeness to God, feelings of deep inner harmony, and more.
- Positive religious coping – looking to God for strength and guidance
- Negative religious coping – questioning why God “punished” them
- Purpose in life – relating to a person’s sense of goals in life
- Forgiveness of self – admitting that one has done wrong
- Forgiveness of others – recognizing the good that others have done
The researchers found that many dimensions of spirituality change over time – such as one’s purpose in life, their ability to forgive themselves and others, as well as negative religious coping mechanisms. Other dimensions, such as spiritual or religious practices, positive religious coping, and daily spiritual experiences were shown to stay consistent throughout participants’ journey to recovery. What does this mean for you?
If you’re in recovery, it reflects the fact that life, and recovery, is a journey with ups and downs. As you learn more about yourself, you will grow and change, and your perceptions will shift over time. You may begin your treatment program with a specific stance just to realize that you would like to incorporate certain aspects of spirituality and/or religion later, and that’s okay. Be open to growing and finding what works best for you.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.