Spirituality can play an important role in helping people live with or recover from alcohol and addiction related problems.
What is Spirituality?
“It is what is deepest in us – what gives us direction, motivation. It is what enables a person to survive bad times, to be strong, to overcome difficulties, to become themselves.”
People may develop and express their spirituality through:
- religious practices such as worship, prayer and reading religious texts
- coming together as a spiritual community
- attending 12 Step fellowship meetings
- living by certain values
- rituals such as burning incense
- wearing particular clothes or eating particular foods
- cultural or creative activities such as making music or creating art
- getting closer to nature
- activities that develop self-awareness or personal control such as contemplation or yoga
- physical activity
- friendship or voluntary work
“The quieter the location, the more healing it can be. Being constantly around people is draining to me.”
Spirituality means different things to different people. They may interpret it as:
- their religion or faith
- giving meaning and direction to their life, sometimes described as their ‘journey’
- a way of understanding the world and their place in the world
- belief in a higher power or a force greater than any individual
- a core part of their identity and essential humanity
- a feeling of belonging or connectedness
- a quest for sobriety, wholeness, hope or harmony
- a sense that there is more to life than material things
“I don’t believe in a God – a divine being of any description… But I do have a great wonder at the workings of the world and the universe. I suppose you could call that a spiritual response.”
A Human Right
Being able to express and explore our spirituality is a basic human need and a universal human right.
Can Spirituality Protect Health?
More and more people now understand that our wellbeing depends on a mix of factors including biological, psychological and social factors. Taking account of people’s spiritual beliefs is therefore an important part of viewing people’s health ‘in the round’.
Spirituality can help people maintain good health. It can help them cope with everyday stress and can keep them grounded.
Some people may consider these activities central to their lives, but they may not think of themselves as ‘spiritual’ nor associate these activities with ‘spirituality’.
“I walk to the park and sit on the grass. I listen to the water fountain and close my eyes. I imagine a peaceful place… This helps when my mind is very busy and I feel overwhelmed. It helps to ground me, relax me and eventually get me back in touch with reality.”