Sometimes you just need to be still and reflect. That can be difficult to do in a hectic world, especially as working professional who is also challenged with recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Taking time to focus inward can help you through your recovery, though. Spirituality and recovery have a connection that will benefit you in your treatment program. Silent retreats have also been found to be very helpful. What is a silent retreat and how can it benefit you in recovery?
What is a Silent Retreat?
A retreat enables you to get away from the stresses and busyness of your daily life. A silent retreat can last anywhere from a day to a long weekend. Some, more intense, retreats even continue on for a week or more. A silent retreat is basically just that. You are to remain silent throughout the event. More than just being silent, though, the retreat gives you an opportunity to reflect inwardly and process your thoughts in a calm, constructive way.
A silent retreat will take the energy you usually devote to communication and interaction with others and channel it inward. As a professional in addiction recovery, you need some “downtime” to shine a light on your inner being. When you become overly busy with your work and other obligations, on top of the challenges of overcoming your addiction, you can benefit greatly from focusing on your thoughts and emotions. A silent retreat allows you to acknowledge and process your most uncomfortable and usually undiscovered thoughts and feelings.
Tolerance and Balance
Even if you consider yourself to be an introvert, a silent retreat can test your ability to focus on yourself, on your inner landscape. As you progress through the day, or through the weekend, though, you will find that you are learning stress tolerance and emotional balance that will see you through your addiction recovery process.
You may be uncomfortable with your solitude at first, but you will find that you are able to process both negative and positive thoughts throughout your experience. As a professional dedicated to serving others, you need this time of silence and reflection to discover your true inner self and come to terms with your addiction and your plans for a successful recovery.
Silence and Spirituality
During your time of silence and reflection, you may experience a spirituality that can give you a sense of calm and a sense of purpose. Dr. Adi Jaffe, writing in Psychology Today, noted that “several studies have shown that when an individual has a greater focus on purpose in life, that purpose has a positive influence on addiction treatment outcomes. Some people see having a higher power as giving them something to belong to that is stronger than themselves.”
Spirituality is not necessarily religion. A spiritual person has a connectedness to a higher power, to the universe, without necessarily being a religious person. Your way of practicing spirituality is an individual choice and may include prayer, mindfulness, or meditation.
One of the key benefits of a silent retreat is the time for meditation. Practicing mindfulness and meditation have been proven as ways to improve addiction treatment outcomes. As Dr. Jaffe points out, “meditation can release muscle tension, decrease the activity of the sympathetic branch of the nervous system, and reduce heart rate and blood pressure. Living in the present moment and focusing on the now, not the future or the past, helps to center and focus thoughts while reducing stress and anxiety.”
In addiction recovery, coping skills are critical. In a silent retreat, you can take time out of your busy day as a working professional and focus on you. Being still and quiet in a busy, commotion-filled world helps you find ways to overcome your addictive behaviors and move forward with a productive, healthier life.
Spirituality and Recovery
Focusing on your spiritual growth can help you connect more fully to other people and to a higher purpose. Spiritual growth embodies values such as trust, faith, respect, self-expression, and self-acceptance that are needed in your life as you move through your addiction recovery. A silent retreat gives you the time to be still, be silent, and reflect on these values in your life.
Silent Retreats for Professionals
At Providence Treatment, we promote stillness and developing a deeper relationship with yourself and your Higher Power – however you understand it to be, through one-day silent retreats. These retreats will take you out of your busy, noisy professional life and bring you to a place of stillness and quiet – where you may find serenity and peace.
Providence Treatment Spiritual Counseling
We recognize that spirituality can be an invaluable tool in your recovery. As part of your addiction treatment, we encourage you to cultivate spiritual practices in your life while you are in the process of transformation from active use of alcohol and drugs. At Providence Treatment, we want you to know that you can overcome addiction with outpatient treatments. If you need help or want to learn more about our silent retreats, contact us at 484.469.9592.