Most people are pretty disconnected from their spirituality when they are in their active addiction. The self-centered nature of using and the daily routine of surviving and struggling doesn’t leave much time for it. Even those who once had a strong spiritual practice or belief system find that they pull away from it. The two things just don’t go together very well. Coming into recovery, you’ll hear a lot about spirituality, finding a higher power and staying connected with it.
In Recovery You may Have no Clue About Your Spiritual Beliefs
If you already have a strong spiritual or religious belief, it may be fairly easy. However, if you are like many people, you may have no clue about your spiritual beliefs or how to connect with a higher power. In fact, you may find the whole concept makes you uncomfortable.
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One solution if you are struggling in recovery with finding your spiritual happy place is to connect with nature.
What Can Nature Do For Your Recovery
Nature is universally healing, peaceful and energizing all at the same time. No matter what your spiritual beliefs, you can turn to nature for comfort and peace. If you don’t feel as though you have any beliefs at all, nature is still an amazing way to get in touch with your spiritual side.
Nature can calm a worried mind, offer opportunities to reflect and makes a great place to get some solitude and quiet in the midst of a busy, noisy world.
Ways To Increase Spirituality Through Nature in Recovery
There is more than one way to meditate. No, you don’t have to sit in the lotus pose, chant or stay still for an hour. Even a few brief minutes of sitting comfortably and quietly makes a surprising difference in your well-being. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to clear your mind in order to be meditating. So many people get discouraged because they simply can’t force their brains to stop thinking or to just be “blank.” That’s not the point, though. Especially in the beginning of your recovery, your brain will be positively buzzing with thoughts. The trick is not to hold on to them. Simply let them go. Another strategy is to count your breaths. Count your in breaths, count your out breaths. Repeat. This will help your brain focus and not be so busy.
Walking Meditation Is Perfect For The Outdoors
Many Buddhists practice walking meditation. This is a good one for being outside, getting present and connected with the earth, and perfect for those who just can’t sit still.
Take Your Recovery Step Work Outside
Working the recovery steps is a process. It’s important and sometimes mentally and emotionally challenging. It’s also cleansing and cathartic, and brings a wealth of insight and awareness. Why sit on your bed or at the kitchen table to do such important work? Take it outdoors. Go to a park, the beach, a favorite spot. Go sit by the river or the lake. Go hiking, and when you find the perfect spot to rest, pull your notebook out of your backpack and take a few minutes to write. Journaling is also wonderful out in nature. Reading works, too.
If you are trying to develop the habit of prayer, try it outside. You may find that you are more easily able to connect with your prayers outdoors.
Physically Challenge Yourself in Recovery
Quiet reflection in peaceful surroundings is great, but sometimes, what you really need to get your mind quiet and in touch with your spirituality is some good, strenuous and challenging activity. This may be rigorous hiking, swimming, climbing or running. When you are exerting yourself or doing something physically challenging, it requires focus. This helps clear your mind. You are out in the elements, feeling the breeze, the sun and the earth beneath your feet. You are out of the artificial environment that you spend so much of your time in. When you complete the activity, you feel a sense of accomplishment that boosts confidence which is important in recovery. You are also releasing endorphins, improving your health and staving off depression and anxiety.
After you are done, take a few quiet moments to reflect on anything that may have come up for you during the activity. Did any emotions, thoughts or insights catch your attention? Now is a good time to break out your journal and jot down some observations. Or, you can take a few moments to write a gratitude list, meditate and say a prayer.
Working With Others in Recovery
While nature and solitude go well together, it’s also a good idea to involve others in your outdoor activities. If you are working with a sponsor or sponsee, suggest a trip to the beach, mountains or local park. You may find that you are able to connect deeper in this environment. Grab a few recovery buddies for a hike or a picnic. Nature is a beautiful backdrop for social activities and getting to know people better.
De-Stress And Connect
When you are feeling overwhelmed, disconnected, depressed, anxious or ambivalent, the serene elements of the outdoors can be your go-to for a spiritual boost that will leave you feeling refreshed and back in touch with yourself and the world around you. It’s always available, doesn’t have to cost anything and can make a huge difference in the quality of your recovery, spirituality, and self-care.
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Getting Help with Recovery
If you are struggling with substance abuse, there is help. Addiction treatment can give you the tools you need to make a fresh start. FindAddictionRehabs.com offers a full range of treatment options and services geared toward healing the whole person, not just the substance abuse problem. Treatment and therapies address the mind, body and spirit, and FindAddictionRehabs.com offers a warm, welcoming and supportive environment. Call us today at 1-877-959-7271 to learn more.