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.


Enlightening Empowerment: Owning your Choices and Taking Responsibility for the Consequences

“You are free to choose…” is the most simple way of describing man’s spiritual gift in his ability to express free will; however, “...you are not free from the consequence of your choice.”

Imagine all the world, mankind, and creation, as existing within one pond. With every choice we make, we cast an energetic pebble upon the pond’s waters. As a result, the pond ripples, sending waves out across the surface until it hits a border and comes back again. Over and over this cycle repeats until the energy of the wave dies out. Magnifying that example to the expansiveness of our existence, there is not telling where or when the energy of our choices might cease to have an effect. Some call this “new age” and “spiritual thinking” while others might refer to it as metaphysical law or quantum mechanics.

From a purely ontological perspective, if we choose to drop a heavy rock on our foot, we are not freed from a broken toe. Big or small, our choices have meaning for ourselves and others. Attempting to choose inconsequentially likely enabled many patterns of our addictive and alcoholic behaviors. Ignorant to how our drinking and using was affecting others, we continued to choose suffering, choose intoxication, regardless of the consequence. Recovery gives us the gifts of consideration, selflessness, and service. Approaching each choice with mindfulness, we learn to take responsibility for the consequences of our choices.

Simply accepting “blame” is different from the empowering practice of truly owning the choices we make. For example, we choose to accept a task assigned to us by another. Regretting it immediately, we moan and complain, becoming resentful of this horrible tragedy we’re suffering. How quickly we cast the ownership of our choices! Empowerment would mean owning the choice to accept this task. Enlightened empowerment would not only own the action, but own the process as well. Yes, we made the choice to take on this task. We are going to complete it fully as a result.

Recovery is not forced upon us. Though overtime we lose our deep attachment to the suffering of craving, we always have the choice to drink. Empowerment in recovery comes from fully embracing the every day, multiple times a day, decision not to drink or use drugs. Enlightened empowerment comes from trudging that road to happy destiny with grace. We choose to stay sober each day and we face the consequence of fulfilling the needs of the recovery lifestyle. We own it because we love it and we love ourselves.

Enlightened Solutions believes in the empowering effect of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction through treatment. Founded in twelve step philosophy and coupled with holistic healing practices, Enlightened offers a multidisciplinary approach. We have hope for the hopeless and a solution for the answerless.