Can Spirituality Help You Be More Productive?

Practicing spirituality in recovery is about more than utilizing a Higher Power to help you to stay sober. Recovery becomes the anchor in your life, the compass by which you are guided. Developing a spiritual manner of living is like writing your own guidebook on how to stay sober every day. When we create a spiritual center in our lives, everything else follows it. We spend the majority of our lives with ourselves. Our spiritual program directs us in interacting with others, making friends, discovering and developing new morals and values, and who we are as a person. Spirituality is not meant to be a task by which we are burdened but a lifestyle in which we come alive.

Writing about spirituality in the corporate workplace, Dr. Shyam Kumar expresses that “spirituality includes a sense of connection to something larger than ourselves and it involves a search for meaning and purpose in life….it is a means not an end.”

Creating a spiritual environment, he explains, “is not just about setting and implementing rules, it deals with sense of community, adding meaning and helping…to discover their life’s purpose.” He notes that employees in a spiritual environment are more satisfied and find that their performance is enhanced.

In many ways, recovery is a full-time job. We have to work hard all day every day to make sure we are taking the steps we need to in order to stay sober. Spirituality and proactively creating a spiritual environment for ourselves inspires us to stay sober. Like an employee at a job, we are encouraged to keep doing what we are doing, which is staying sober one day at a time.

Here are some quick ideas for building your spiritual environment:

  • Include prayer and meditation in your daily routine. Try finding a daily affirmations or daily reader book that speaks to you.
  • Attract your tribe with your vibe. Find like minded people who are exploring their spirituality as well.
  • Make your home environment more spiritually sound by creating a clean and comfortable space you look forward to coming home to.
  • Build a relationship with your Higher Power. It is one thing to find a Higher Power you want to believe in. Entering a spiritual relationship with the center of your beliefs is a life changing process.

Common Questions About Meditation and Mindfulness

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a practice of noticing. Many of us just go with the motions of our days without really noticing what is going on. Bringing awareness to our surroundings assists us in becoming present and enjoying life fully in each moment. Mindfulness is proven to help relax, sharpen focus, and regulate mood.

Is mindfulness different from meditation?

Yes and no. Mindfulness is a form of meditation but not all meditation is necessarily mindful. However, practicing meditation does tend to increase one’s sense of mindfulness. Meditation, like mindfulness, is a practice that helps develop a sense of awareness. Though mindfulness is a thought process, meditation can be practiced in different ways.

What if your mind is too busy?

Most meditation and mindfulness practitioners would argue that there is no such thing as a mind too busy to practice. They might even emphasize that the mind which thinks itself too busy for mindfulness and meditation is in the most need! Practicing mindfulness and meditation is a way to quiet the mind and calm the chaos internally. It may take time and meditation sessions of no more than five minutes at a time to start.

Is the goal to stop all thoughts?

Some disciplines of religion like Zen Buddhism include meditation in which the goal is to empty the mind completely. Not all meditation is about nothingness. Mindfulness, arguably, is about everythingness by noticing the world around you. Practicing meditation and mindfulness is about coming to terms with your thoughts.

Do I have to be spiritual to practice mindfulness and meditation?

No. Though mindfulness and meditation are spiritually founded practices, religion or spirituality does not have to be part of your life. It is important to note, however, that many people will have spiritual experiences or spiritual shifts. Meditation and mindfulness are proven to enhance feelings of connectedness and universality.

How do I practice mindfulness and meditation?

The simplest way to practice is to just breath and notice your thoughts. Meditation can be sitting, quiet, music, guided, etc. Choose what works best for you.

Enlightened Solutions combines holistic health and spiritual practices with both evidence-based treatment as well as 12 step philosophy. Our integrated approach to recovery creates a unique program of treatment for men and women overcoming addiction. For more information on our programs of treatment, call 833-801-5483.

Relapse Prevention: Mindfulness over Matter

Mindfulness based stress reduction has become an integral part of addiction treatment programs in recovery centers. Incorporating mindfulness based practices into an individualized treatment plan produces great results. Used to treat depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and more, mindfulness based practices alleviate symptoms and encourage recovery. Even physical ailments such as chronic lower back pain are proving to be greatly helped by mindfulness based practices.

For some providers, the mindfulness movement is not rooted in enough science. Dozens of scholarly articles are published every week on the evidenced success of mindfulness. Body, mind, and spirit are helped by these practices and science is proving it. Still, “evidence based” treatment modalities have been around longer. Despite growing evidence for mindfulness, providers are quick to stick with what they know.

Mindfulness for Relapse Prevention

Thankfully, there are movements encouraging a wider adoption of mindfulness practices. Evidence based relapse prevention and mindfulness based stress reduction have fused to create “Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention”. Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention uses meditation in combination with cognitive and behavioral skill building. Adjusting an addict’s relationship to their emotional state is a preventative measure when it comes to relapse.

Relapse is a process. Seeing relapse as a singular episodic occurrence undermines the power of addiction as a whole. Cravings and negative emotions are accomplices to the relapse continuum. Developing skills like emotional regulation and coping mechanisms are necessary for dealing with the negative emotions. Addiction is, in many ways, a coping mechanism for people who are unable to regulate their negative emotions. Cravings are a byproduct of the neuroscience of addiction. By way of association, when negative emotions return, cravings increase. Before picking up the first drink or drug, the brain has already assumed the substance has been consumed, hence cravings.

Meditation and mindfulness encourage healthy detachment. The association between negative emotions and cravings adjusts. In fact, brain images reveal that overtime, mindfulness and meditation practices actually change areas of the brain where cravings occur. Using the cognitive and behavioral skills fostered in a mindful way allows emotions to become an experience rather than a trigger. Living life on life’s terms becomes manageable without feeling vulnerable to life’s every whim.

The recovery process starts with healing, starts with hope, and starts with you. If you are interested in recovering from drug and alcohol addiction through a spiritually minded and holistic program of healing, call Enlightened Solutions today 833-801-5483.