Using Spirituality to Combat Negative Emotions

Using Spirituality to Combat Negative Emotions

Recovery causes us to look inward – and many times, we’re faced with troubling thoughts, truths, and understandings of the world that make it hard to breathe. Detoxification is one of the first and hardest hurdles to get through in addiction recovery, and it’s because it’s a major change; the physical and emotional ups and downs associated with addiction recovery can cause anyone to want to curse the world at times, and self-pity can even begin to seep in if you feel like your entire world has shifted. When this happens, it’s easy to blame others, God, and situations for happening to you. Depression can even appear every now and then, especially as we wish that we could simply “snap” our fingers and life would settle into place. Of course, it’s never that easy – and through these challenging situations, it’s time to turn towards spirituality for ultimate healing.

Taking Responsibility For the Past

In the past, researchers have explored the way that addiction recovery impacts a person both physically and mentally – major changes, such as with sobriety, can cause a person to experience symptoms of withdrawal. Regret, anger, and deep sadness can occur, and we may even find self-loathing to will itself into existence; we ask ourselves, “how could we have ever let things get this bad?” While these concerns seem very real, it’s important to remember that while we can’t change the past, we can change the present in an effort to change the future. 

Addiction is a disease that takes over the mind, body, and spirit. There are a million fingers that could be pointed for how and why addiction has occurred in your life, but that wouldn’t help you move forward; now is the time to step up and embrace recovery. One of the most powerful ways you can do this is by building up not only your emotional and physical health but by working on building your spiritual side as well. 

How Spirituality Fits into Recovery 

12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, have long covered the topic of spirituality and have helped many people build stronger connections with God. Spirituality opens up our horizons and gives us the space to change our perspectives on ourselves and our lives – and that is when we tend to see some truly transformational experiences occur. Spirituality is felt within the heart and throughout the body, and it’s a major factor for sobriety; the connection that we build with a Higher Power constantly reminds us that as human beings, we’re bound to make mistakes – but by taking responsibility for our actions and understanding that we can’t control every aspect of life, those seemingly challenging situations suddenly become easier to navigate. 

Spirituality truly helps us to focus on the bigger picture that is life, rather than ourselves. 12-Step programs (such as AA or NA) embrace spirituality by guiding people through a series of steps that ultimately help them learn more about themselves and their connection with God, or a Higher Power. While addiction pulls us away from the things that matter most – such as family, friends, happiness, mental health and physical wellness, career aspirations, hobbies and interests, education and so much more, spirituality reels us back in and reminds us of these things. For those who’ve battled with addiction recovery for several years, this feeling of being spiritual can uplift their spirits and cause them to gain an entirely new, wondrous perspective on life – and issues that used to appear so big and concerning now are considered so small in the grand scheme of things.

Pushing Past Negativity

Anger and numbness are common feelings for those in recovery, especially at the beginning as they’re trying to find their way. Hope and faith in a brighter future, however, are two aspects of spirituality that involve relying on a Higher Power to ensure that everything gets taken care of – because we can’t control everything, even if we’d like to. Hope is so powerful, as it’s what helps us continue trying and moving forward despite what may be bringing us down. Faith is what helps us rely on a Higher Power – it brings us humility and moves us away from the egotistical self. Anger and depression weigh us down – hope and faith lift us up.

Previous studies have explored the notion of faith, and they’ve found that those who have more faith in their sobriety goals tend to be less depressed and frustrated. Rather than dwelling on the idea that they could fail, fall short of their goals or experience hurdles along the way, these individuals have faith that everything will be okay – and in doing so, they inherently make their lives more positive in nature.

If you’re ready to pursue a path of sobriety, spirituality, and healing, speak with one of our admissions experts today at 833-801-LIVE.


How an Actor Should Take Care of Their Mental Health

How an Actor Should Take Care of Their Mental Health

Being an actor is hard work as you face rejection on a daily basis. If you go through a series of auditions and not get a single one, it can damage your self-esteem and throw you into a depression. By knowing how to take care of your mental health after an audition, you will be in good spirits for the next one. 

How to Deal With Rejection

All actors deal with rejection. Even if you are talented and gave a great audition, someone else could have given a better one. You should embrace rejection into your life if being an actor is your dream instead of dreading it. None of us wants to feel this pain and we will do whatever it takes to stop it. You should find the power in rejection. Whether or not you are an actor, not everything comes easily to everyone. After a series of rejections, you may finally get the part you have always wanted. Do not let rejection be an enemy, but embrace it instead.

How to Stay Motivated

When you act in an audition or an acting class, you must feel a rush of excitement and you feel proud of yourself. Remember through challenging moments why you decided to act. You can tell yourself that rejection is just part of the process that will take you a few steps forward towards your dream. You can also let yourself know that everyone loses. Just like your favorite sports team has probably lost the finals of an important game. They did not give up, but they pushed themselves every game. That is how you have to see yourself after every audition. 

How to Avoid Jealousy

It is easy to compare yourself to others in the business. You may be looking at other aspiring actors in the audition room and seeing what they look like or how much experience they have told you they have. You could also be thinking of how your favorite actor or actress started at a young age and are scared your time has passed to be cast. Once you know what you are jealous of, turn that negative statement into a positive one. For example, if you think you are not good enough, change that to you trusting your gifts and talents. Read the positive and negative statements out loud and see which ones sound stronger. You will know your jealousy is gone when instead of feeling negativity when seeing other actors, you are instead happy for them in their success.

How to Handle Audition Anxiety

You may enter the audition room and you hear your name being called out. Once you see the casting directors waiting for you, everything about your confidence changes. This is because when adrenaline rushes to your bloodstream, you tighten up, sweat, shake, have dry mouth, shortness of breath, and dizziness. This fight or flight response can lead to a panic attack. By trying to ignore these symptoms can actually make them worse if all of that energy is pent up. Expect this kind of reaction when you are in front of judges and just tell yourself that these casting directors want you to do well and are rooting you on. Casting directors are looking for the actor to embody the character they have imagined and want that person in front of them to be the one they have been looking for. This should build your confidence.

When to See a Therapist

People tend to be afraid to go to therapy because they are afraid that it will make them appear weak. The truth is that anyone can benefit from therapy as you speak about your problems to someone who is unbiased. Most insurance plans offer mental health coverage and you can find a therapist that has a sliding scale to help with costs. A therapist can help you figure out why you love what you do, help you cope or make necessary changes, and dealing with new challenges. Therapy can actually help benefit your acting career.

Change Your Intentions

Actors tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves during their audition. Instead of telling yourself that this will be the part that will make or break your career, find a new intention instead. Tell yourself that you are doing this audition as an opportunity to introduce casting directors to your new monologue or that this is just for practice. Focus only on that intention and let that be your goal so that you can walk out of the audition feeling like you accomplished something.

Emotional Health

You can find a community of other actors going through the same through online message boards on Facebook or in your acting class. Everything you are feeling is most likely what they have felt as well. While acting may be your main passion, it does not have to be your only passion. Find a hobby to engage in between auditions and to help take your mind off the last audition. You should also focus on what you need to improve on for the next audition such as cold reading too quickly, shakiness, forgetting your lines, etc. You can speak to your therapist about how to improve in these areas. It is important to realize that you need to improve your mental health to help benefit your acting career and your own personal health.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Two Easy Ways to Reduce Negative Emotions

One of the most challenging and unattractive parts of recovery to many people is feelings. Feeling feelings is difficult for the first time when drugs and alcohol aren’t present. Some feelings are associated with traumas and stories of a painful past which hasn’t been reckoned with. Learning to manage negative emotions is a necessary survival skill for lifelong sobriety. Here are two methods which are proven on a neurological scale to help.

 

Gratitude

We hear a lot about gratitude in early recovery. As if it is the new drug du jour, people are always talking about gratitude lists, gratitude journals, and being grateful all the time. It is the “attitude of gratitude” as it is commonly said, which keeps people sober. In terms of recovery and the spiritual solution provided by the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, this makes sense. Resentments, as highlighted in the fourth step inventory, are, as The Big Book authors and AA founders put it “fatal” to the alcoholic. Essentially, it is impossible to be in a resentment and be in gratitude at the same time.

 

According to neuroscientific research, gratitude increases levels of dopamine production as well as activates dopamine circuits involved with social activity. So not only does dopamine makes us feel better in general, but practicing gratitude toward others increases our happiness toward others.

 

Emotional Literacy

Most people who have been to treatment for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction are familiar with a famous chart. This chart has rows upon rows of “emoji” faces expressing different emotions. Under each emotion is the label for what that feeling is. Drug and alcohol addiction stunt developmental growth, especially in emotional maturation. Not only do emotions not mature, the literacy required for adequately articulating those emotions also gets stunted. What “feels bad” to someone could really mean a range of feelings from sad to angry to hurt. Without knowledge of these labels, it is hard to identify them; without identifying them, it is hard to work through them and let them go.

 

Emotional literacy and being able to label feelings actually reduces the chaos and discomfort many recovering addicts and alcoholics experience when dealing with emotions for the first time. With just one or two words to associate with an emotional experience, the prefrontal cortex gets activated, thereby reducing activity in the limbic system which results in that discomfort.