The last part of our Eight Dimensions of Wellness series focuses on spiritual healing. Spiritual wellness is a broad concept that can encompass religious beliefs, personal values, and finding a purpose in life.
This dimension focuses on achieving well-rounded peace and balance in all aspects of the human existence.
How Spiritual Wellness Ties Into Addiction Recovery
Spiritual wellness works to identify the meaning of life. It sparks questions such as,
“What have I been put on Earth to do?”
“Will I better the world while I’m here?”
“How can I play my part in the larger community?”
Whether or not you practice a religious faith, spiritual wellness should be a priority.
Achieving spiritual wellness is the only way to fulfill all eight dimensions and enjoy total well-being. It is important to establish how you see yourself in the world.
Focusing on spiritual wellness during addiction recovery can give you hope to hold onto in dark times.
It can help you see the meaning, purpose, and reason behind your existence. It allows you to appreciate your life experiences – good and bad – for the lessons they taught you.
Spiritual healing gives you harmony with yourself and with others in the larger world. It can give you the balance you need to move forward in a successful life of sobriety.
The Road To Spiritual Wellness
Spiritual wellness is not something anyone else can give you.
You can use tools and techniques from outside sources, such as therapists, but it is ultimately something you must find within yourself.
The road to spiritual wellness looks different for everybody. It is an inner journey that does not necessarily mean you need to become religious. Yet, for some, religion provides the roadmap on the route to spiritual awakening.
Use these tips to help you discover your own spiritual wellness:
1. Think about who you are
The first step toward spiritual wellness takes searching for the meaning in your life. After struggling with an addiction, you might feel that your life has no meaning. This is not true. As the phrase goes: you were put on Earth on purpose, with a purpose. Take time to self-reflect and think about what that purpose might be.
2. Spend time in quiet meditation
Meditation is one of the key tools to have during addiction recovery. Meditation can increase skills such as mindfulness, patience, and self-awareness. Meditating on the meaning of your life could lead to epiphanies about your past or future. It’s a quiet, safe space in which to think and breathe.
3. Learn acceptance
Regret or wishing you could go back and change something could hinder your spiritual wellness. Instead, learn how to accept your past for what it is. You might have made mistakes, but they led you to where you are now. You have the opportunity to make a difference right now, even if you can’t alter the past.
4. Think about what beliefs are important to you
Take time to determine what matters most to you. Consider your ethics, morals, and principles. What do you believe at your core? Consider talking about these beliefs with others. This could help you steer your spirituality in the right direction.
5. Consider how to give your life more meaning
Many people – not just those recovering from addiction – feel lost. Think about something you could do that would give your life more meaning. It might mean volunteering, helping others, or speaking at support group meetings. Look to your community for ways you can make a bigger impact.
6. Be receptive to your own spirituality
Attaining spiritual wellness takes a frank and honest look at yourself. Don’t be afraid of your own spirituality. Be receptive to it, even in times of grief, doubt, and anger. Your spirituality can help you the most in difficult times if you let it.
7. Go out in nature
Nature can awaken the spirituality inside of you. Spending time out in nature, either meditating or hiking, can help you think more clearly and appreciate the beauty of the world around you, as well as your place in it.
Find a peaceful spot in nature to reflect on what matters most to you.
Once you have established your own spirituality through inner reflection, speak to others. Explore different religions and systems of thought.
Keep an open mind. Read about other beliefs or speak to friends and loved ones about the beliefs they keep. Share your principles with others, when appropriate, to connect with people on a deeper level. Make sure to listen to their take on spirituality as well, to expand your own worldview.
Spiritual Wellness Resources
Although spiritual wellness is largely a solo journey, resources exist to help you find your way.
Religious groups can be excellent resources for your spiritual wellness.
If one fits in with your worldviews, try going to meetings or speaking to someone at the establishment about your questions or thoughts. Otherwise, try going to multiple locations in your community for a more rounded view on religion.
Be perceptive to your own curiosity. If something piques it, spend time to explore the experience more fully.
Consider taking a course on religious studies at a college near you or online. You could also research religious studies yourself without enrolling in a class, although the class environment could give you others from which you can bounce your ideas off and learn.
Many college campuses have departments and councils where students can explore their spirituality.
You may also find assistance at yoga or meditation studios. Guided meditation could help you dig deeper into your purpose in life.
Finally, consider speaking to a therapist if you’re struggling with your spiritual wellness.
Gaining control of your mental and emotional health first can put you in a more stable and accepting mindset for spirituality.