Everybody’s Got Something

Neuroscience of Spirituality

To many who start the recovery process and lifestyle, the news that it involves a spiritual awakening is bad news.  There is an assumption that the beloved relationship with science and facts must be forsaken for the healing of self-destructive addiction.  For these people, the neuroscience of spirituality is wonderful news!

The neuroscience of spirituality, also named Spiritual Intelligence (SI), is a powerful framework for the recovering person’s process of awakening.  SI is the journey of deepening consciousness or awareness of self.  This transcendence is rooted in the science of the brain.   3 types of spiritual intelligence can be defined:

  • Emotional intelligence (EI) which lives on the right side of the brain
  • Intellectual intelligence (IQ) which lives on the left side of the brain and
  • Spiritual intelligence (SQ) which is a layer of matter circling the right and left sides of the brain

This is exciting news as people are usually identified as either “right-brained” indicating a more creative person or “left-brained” indicating a more logical or scientific-minded person.

Recovery is the journey of ceasing physical addiction, changing daily life behaviors and the evolving consciousness that stems from the integration of those changes.  While this journey of raised consciousness has been accepted in recovery circles for decades, the neuroscience of spirituality is now scientific evidence that this is occurring.  

The primary theory validating this experience is called Integrated Information Theory (IIT).  IIT is the explanation that our brain takes information inputs from the external world via all three intelligence pathways and brings them together in one holistic experience.  The inputs are received and integrated.  It is the interpretation of these streams of information as one unified experience that generates consciousness.  

Since the information being gathered is a mix of objective, clearly defined information and subjective, undefined information that is cooked into one integrated spiritual experience, the outputs generated by varied people with unique life experiences will vary greatly.  It is this reason that the wisdom of AA’s original teaching, A God of His Own Understanding, continues to save lives today.  The effectiveness of allowing each person have their own conception of a higher power is validated by this scientific theory.  

 

If you are struggling with addiction, alcoholism, and/or mental health, know that there is hope. There is a solution. Harmoniously fusing together the best elements of clinical care, holistic healing, and 12-step philosophy, Enlightened Solutions has created a program of total transformation for men and women seeking recovery. Call 833-801-5483 today for information on our partial care programs in New Jersey.


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3 P’s For Relapse Prevention In The Heat Of The Moment

The way relapse is described often finds itself at a cross roads. According to neuroscience, relapse is a process. Over the course of many weeks, the brain builds up a case against logic and reason convincing such areas of the brain to give in to cravings. Euphoric recall, which is when one spends time reminiscing about good times and how rewarding addiction was, can start the process. Stress, emotional pain, and not utilizing the tools of recovery can also contribute. Essentially, the brain becomes so alive with memories of drinking and using that it signals cravings as if it has already had drugs and alcohol, therefore experiencing symptoms of withdrawal all over again.

On the other hand, according to many people in recovery who have experienced relapse themselves, it isn't a process but a spontaneous instant. In one flash of a moment all judgment and reason is lost. There are no consequences, no thinking. From black to white, A to B, there’s no stop in the middle. A drug or a drink is picked up and consumed. What happens next defines the course of their recovery. Either there is immediate regret and a return to working on recovery, or there is a period which can never be determined in length, of no sobriety.

Relapse does not have to happen. In addition to numerous therapeutic and holistic tools for relapse prevention there are a few key strategies you can apply when your chemical mind is taking over and you’re inches away from picking up.

Pausing

Pausing is the one thing most people who relapse say they were not able to do. If you feel insatiable cravings coming up, do everything you can to try to pause in between. Take a moment to call a friend, call a sponsor, or take a walk. You might not be able to think clearly in that moment. However, if you stay away from the thought process long enough you will most likely see the cravings subside. Often, cravings get worse merely out of the anticipation that they are about to be satisfied.

Pranayama

Prana is a word for breath and pranayama is the practice of breathing. Using breath work of any kind, even just taking deep breaths, can have a wealth of benefit in a heated moment which could lead to relapse. Breath circulates oxygen to the brain which can help it calm down from the distress it is causing. Additionally, physical signals of cravings which have been sent out will benefit from the total body relaxation of breathing. Breathing also helps focus the mind, which can bring it out of hyper focus on drinking and using.

Present Moment Thinking

Being in the height of cravings often means one of two mental states: living in the future or living in the past. There’s fears about the future which come up in recovery, fears of the unknown and the uncontrollable. Likewise, there are fears about the past, regrets and mistakes which cannot be changed. Let go of the past and the future and focus on the choice you have right now in the present moment. In this instant you can choose between repeating the past or defining a new future. You are empowered to make the choice.

If you are struggling with chronic relapse, there is a solution. Enlightened Solutions has created an integrative program which brings together healing for mind, body, and spirit. Our integrative programs create transformational change. For more information, call us today at 833-801-5483.