Choosing to Live a Life of Purpose
One of the most powerful methods someone exiting rehab can do is live a meaningful life of purpose. Creating a life of purpose is a grounding step in maintaining a life of sobriety. If those in recovery have no purpose, they are more likely to relapse than patients who have a sense of purpose and on-going support. After spending 30, 60, or 90 days in a treatment center, it may be difficult to know how to re-engage with the outside world without that purpose.
Defining Your Life’s Purpose
The first step in living a life of purpose is defining what is meaningful on a personal level and why it matters to the patient. Doing so enables a patient to develop a plan of action to keep them focused on personal values. If a patient values spirituality, for instance, he or she may find going to a religious organization such as a church, mosque, or synagogue a helpful way to sustain meaning. Alternatively, a patient who likes to write may find that creating gratitude journals, which keep a record of everything the writer is grateful for, can clarify their life’s mission.
Filling one’s life with healthy activities such as meditation or yoga sessions encourages each patient to align themselves with a higher purpose. Creating a daily activity is an example of ways life can hold more value. If a patient believes personal development is uplifting, he or she can create actions such as investing in new hobbies, volunteering, or exploring a new career.
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Spirituality in Maintaining a Life of Purpose
Creating a low-stress life of spirituality can add depth to a recovering patient’s life and is actively encouraged. Including traditional spiritual practices in daily routines, such as meditation and prayer, are strong ways to increase self-worth and add meaning.
When patients acknowledge a higher power, they often strengthen their faith in life and accept a spiritual outlet as a healthy coping mechanism. They know they are not alone when they form a deeper connection with a higher power. Patients who are religiously or spiritually inclined report greater recovery and lower relapse rates, and many support groups also acknowledge a higher power.
Support and Guidance in Maintaining a Life of Purpose
In treatment, patients build connections with staff and peer groups. Other types of care patients can receive are 12-step meetings which include spiritual development and checkups. Post-treatment, patients may continue to maintain close relationships with alumni they bonded with in facilities and are strongly advised to attend meetings.
Continued involvement in groups such as 12-Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous provides structure needed for patients to initiate purposeful living. These groups reinforce the support and empathy needed to sustain recovery and instill community importance in each patient. Forming close relationships reduces stress and contributes to the patient’s overall quality of life, and many groups include fun social events for bonding.
Personal Accountability and Purpose
Identifying with a positive and healthy lifestyle can offset any negativity and self-doubt that can arise post-treatment. Patients are advised to create personalized routines. Routines are ideal and emphasize ways the patient can prioritize themselves, which creates order and stability. Setting goals with routines and maintaining a desired outcome measures the success of each intention and encourages commitment to living a purpose-filled life.
Personal motivation and knowledge of underlying triggers can prompt personal accountability. Allowing patients to be responsible for their addiction emphasizes focusing on themselves, which is necessary for awareness and core change. Self-Management and Recovery Training, also known as SMART, is an available support system to patients post-treatment.
SMART helps patients regain control over their lives by emphasizing self-reliance, self-confidence, self-motivation, and self-discipline. This program is effective in encouraging the patient to stay clean by placing an emphasis on accountability, awareness of self, and having a strong support system of group members and treatment professionals.
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Helping You Live and Stay in Your Purpose
Patients should always remember that there is support for living a life of purpose post-addiction. In addition to books, groups, and other resources, treatment experts can guide you in sustaining your purpose-driven life post rehab. Love yourself and trust the process. Contact a treatment professional today to help you determine the right group and system for you.
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