A Higher Power, Spirituality, and Addiction Recovery

5 Benefits of Spirituality in Recovery

A Higher Power, Spirituality, and Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery is a time of change and restoration. While this often leads to positive growth, it can also be draining and overwhelming. For this reason, many people lean on their spirituality during addiction recovery.

For some people, spiritual recovery involves practicing their religion. For others, spirituality may mean something different, a connection with nature or a path of personal growth.

No matter the definition, spirituality can provide many benefits for people in addiction recovery.

Spirituality in Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery is a leap of faith to challenge harmful thoughts and beliefs. Spirituality can provide guidance for better ways of living. Spirituality in recovery is common but not universal.

A small number of recovery programs have been created for people who do not want to focus on personal spirituality. These groups focus on practical coping methods and scientific findings as guidance through addiction recovery.

In the end, people seeking help from recovery groups need to find programs they can relate to.

Spirituality plays a significant role in 12-step recovery programs Alcoholics Anonymous, according to an article in the Journal of Religious Health. The central idea of these programs is that a person’s recovery can begin when they let go of a perceived sense of control over their life.

Each individual’s perceptions are skewed and steer them toward self-destruction. During recovery, people in 12-step programs look beyond themselves and trust in the wisdom of a higher power for guidance. This reliance on a higher power is reflected in many of the steps of these programs.

While many people see this higher power as God, a higher power can be described as any spiritual entity that has personal meaning. Some of the steps in these programs include prayer, meditation or relating to the higher power about their struggles. All of this is done in a group setting and with a personal sponsor, emphasizing a sense of connection.

Spirituality vs. Religion

Spirituality has a consistent role in many recovery programs. Because spirituality is extremely personal, many programs leave the definition up to the individual.

This broad term can refer to a connection with a higher power outside of the individual or to a broader sense of meaning. Spirituality can also be defined as a connection to nature, to the universe or all living creatures.

People can define spirituality by whatever connection is meaningful to them.

Religion is a more structured and defined way of expressing spirituality. It often involves a sense of community and connection with others and is guided through traditions, rites, rituals and organized leadership.

Benefits of Spirituality

Spirituality has many benefits for a person’s life, especially during addiction recovery. Addiction can be crippling to a person’s sense of value, purpose and connection to the world.

When a person taps into spirituality, their focus turns away from their own worries and faces the world around them. While this can be difficult, spirituality can be comforting and uplifting.

Many people who practice some form of spirituality find that their energy is renewed in times of difficulty. Spirituality and addiction recovery are a natural fit for each other.


Healing from drug addiction can be a challenging process. For many people in recovery, accepting personal responsibility is painful. Practicing spirituality can provide healing from past mistakes. Spiritual healing often involves forgiveness, reconnecting with others and finding a sense of belonging.

Some people promote healing by journaling regularly. Writing thoughts and feelings down on paper can be a cathartic way to express these things privately. Some people review their previous writings to help them understand the change they’ve gone through and gain perspective. Others write to get thoughts and emotions out and don’t care to revisit their creations.

Strength Through Difficulty

The early stages of recovery are mentally and emotionally exhausting. It takes a lot of energy for a person to face themselves and make changes in their perspective. Spiritual strength can lift a person through the difficult parts so they can keep moving forward.

Meditation is one method for keeping spirituality at the forefront of a person’s mind. It can take just a few short sessions a day of simple meditative focus to renew a person’s strength in recovery.

Meditation can be done in a still, quiet space or while doing something active, practicing yoga or walking at a set pace.


Gratitude is a common and strong theme through many forms of spirituality. When a person follows the guidance of a higher power or spiritual beliefs, they are encouraged and often inspired to feel more grateful in their life. Gratitude has an important role in recovery.

It helps people stay focused on the positive and helpful things in their lives. While much about addiction recovery can be emotionally upsetting, cultivating a sense of gratitude can make an important difference and help remind people of the numerous benefits of sober living.


Finding Purpose

Many people feel lost and without a sense of purpose in life after addiction. These individuals are unsure about finding purpose on their own, so they turn to spirituality for help.

Spirituality encourages people to focus beyond themselves and step their comfort zone to help others. This activity often helps people find ways to feel useful, important and valued.

From that sense of purpose and value comes higher self-esteem and confidence.

Meaningful Connection

Connections are powerful during addiction recovery and support can make a huge difference for an individual. Addiction pushes people to isolate themselves and disconnect from others. Spirituality encourages connections with others to restore a sense of belonging. People can connect with a higher power within themselves, in others, in nature or from a variety of other sources.

Prayer comes in many forms and is often used to meaningfully connect to a higher power. While it is common to see a person praying with a bowed head and folded hands, some raise their hands and look to the sky. Other people pray with dance movements, through song or in groups. Prayer style is a very personal choice and often depends on the situation.

Call The Recovery Village Today

Spirituality often plays a key role in a person’s recovery, but each person’s expression of spirituality is unique.

If you care about someone with spiritual needs and addiction issues, contact The Recovery Village today. Or, if this is what your personal struggle looks , please call now.

Representatives are available to take your call 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Don’t wait to get the help you or a loved one needs today.

Источник: https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/recovery/wellness/benefits-spirituality-in-recovery/

What Is a Higher Power?

A Higher Power, Spirituality, and Addiction Recovery
Chris Elkins, MA |Last Updated: 2/27/20|4 sources

Spirituality is an important part of recovery from addiction. Alcohol and other drugs make us feel we’re alone. They make us believe there’s no reason to live. Sometimes we already feel that way when we turn to mind-altering substances.

For a brief moment, the substances trick us into thinking we’re happy. In the end, they make things worse.

To recover from addiction, we must believe we can be happy again. We have to have faith that we can be healthy. We have to have a purpose that motivates us to maintain sobriety. Believing in a higher power helps us find that purpose. Regardless of the higher power we believe in, having faith in something bigger than ourselves can help us find peace.

Motivation is an important aspect of achieving and maintaining sobriety. Knowing that we have a place in this world and that we aren’t alone can motivate us to quit drinking or using. A higher power helps many people realize they are connected to something important.

For many people, the journey toward finding a higher power is as beneficial as the addiction treatment process. As they detox from alcohol or other drugs, they become capable of thinking critically about the important things in life. As they go through therapy and hear the stories of others in recovery, they understand they aren’t alone.

They begin to believe in something they weren’t capable of thinking about while they were under the influence of addictive substances. As they experience a spiritual awakening, they buy into the treatment process. They connect with others, and they feel happiness.

Although most people believe they’ll never truly understand their higher power, they embark on a journey to get closer to it. They may read Scripture, pray or attend religious ceremonies. Some people embark on pilgrimages to sacred sites. Others meditate. Some simply try to live moral and virtuous lives. In doing so, they’re better able to avoid the perils of alcohol and drug use.

Examples of a Higher Power

It’s sometimes easier to describe a higher power than to name one.

  • God
  • Allah
  • Yahweh
  • The Father
  • The Holy Trinity
  • Jesus Christ
  • Jehovah
  • Buddha
  • Brahman
  • Nirvana
  • Mother Earth
  • Universe
  • Nature
  • Energy
  • Ego
  • Self-Will
  • Us

For some people, a higher power is a deity or supernatural being. Others believe it is a supreme being that is greater than other gods. For some, it is a single, all-knowing god or a conception of the power of a god.

Others don’t believe in beings. They believe the universe or nature is a higher power. Some people believe group consciousness is a higher power.

Higher Powers in AA and Other 12-Step Programs

The founders of Alcoholics Anonymous were among the first people to recognize the impact that spirituality has on recovery from addiction. They were also among the first to coin the term “higher power.”

In describing the steps they took to recover from alcoholism, the founders of AA wrote that they “came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” The term higher power, or HP, is used throughout the Big Book of AA to reference the power that was greater than they were.

The founders of AA describe their higher power as God, and they say many of them believed in the Christian God. But they make it clear that not everyone must believe in that god to achieve a spiritual awakening. They describe a higher power as “God as we understood Him.

Numerous 12-step programs have adopted the same belief and terminology to describe recovery from an array of addictions, behavioral issues and other problems. The process of experiencing a spiritual awakening and surrendering oneself to a higher power is crucial to success in the programs.

But a person doesn’t have to believe in a higher power to join a 12-step program. The founders of AA wrote that about half the original AA fellowship was atheist. The founders also wrote that they “did not need to consider another’s conception of God.”

Finding a Higher Power

Many people connect with a major religion during recovery from addiction. But some people struggle to believe in these religions. That’s OK. Finding a higher power isn’t about convincing yourself of something you don’t believe. It’s about finding something that brings you happiness, purpose and peace.

Most people don’t choose a higher power. They go through a spiritual process and subconsciously connect with a higher power. As they grow to understand that power, the connection grows in their consciousness. They experience a spiritual awakening and realize the connection exists.

They may not be able to identify the higher power with a name. They may not fully understand the connection or what they believe. But the process of trying to understand and grow closer to the higher power is beneficial.

Many people begin their search for a higher power by praying. They don’t know who or what they’re praying to. They may not even believe that anyone or anything is listening. But they reach out in hopes of finding or feeling something.

Others find inner peace through activities, such as walking, running, meditating or dancing. Some people reconnect with society by joining sports teams or recreational clubs.

Others find purpose by painting, drawing, sculpting, writing or by participating in other creative activities.

As they reconnect with the world and find purpose, they also discover that their faith in something bigger grows stronger.

Spirituality is a key component of recovery for most people. Believing in a higher power can guide them to inner peace, motivation and purpose.

Medical Disclaimer: DrugRehab.com aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes.

We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

Источник: https://www.drugrehab.com/recovery/faith-and-religion/what-is-a-higher-power/

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