Recovery from addiction is a constant effort that has its good days and challenging days. Sometimes the best approach in recovery is to take it one day at a time. Surrender can be an ally in your pursuit of lasting recovery because it helps you relax and releases your desire to control situations that are out of your control. However, during early recovery, your desire to be in control could be strong and could deceive you into believing that you can manage your recovery on your own.
However, recovery is a multifaceted approach that requires seeking help from professionals and loved ones, learning coping mechanisms and being able to surrender yourself to a higher power. Let’s take a closer look at surrender and its relationship to overcoming addiction, control and sustaining recovery.
Misconceptions About Surrender
There are some misconceptions surrounding what it means to surrender. You might view the idea of surrender as giving up, or you might view it as a sign of weakness. However, surrender has a much more complex meaning than you think. Surrendering is not about being weak or hopeless, nor is it about moving backward. It is about moving forward and allowing yourself the opportunity to realize that your current behaviors are not benefiting you, your health or your relationships.
Surrender is also about not giving up but rather stopping the desire to control situations out of your control and accept things for what they are. Seeking help from a reputable program that offers individual and group therapy is an effective way to experience what it means to surrender.
How to Practice Surrender
Learning how to surrender takes both acceptance and honesty about your substance use. Therefore, the first step is allowing yourself permission to express how you feel. You can practice this alone by writing it in a journal or speaking your thoughts aloud. Once you validate these feelings, you must be willing to let go and accept things the way they are. It is also normal to experience many different emotions, some of which might cause physical and emotional pain. However, being able to process these feelings helps you look at the situation objectively. Objective thinking also helps to prevent you from overthinking and overreacting.
How to Practice Mindfulness
Using mindfulness will aid you during the process of surrender. Mindfulness helps you identify when you are trying to control things. It also brings you into the current moment and causes you to evaluate your thoughts and behaviors surrounding certain situations you are trying to control. When you can identify the emotions and experiences attached to the things you are trying to control, you can then learn coping mechanisms to take a step back and relax.
Some coping strategies might include breathwork to help you regulate your breathing, calm your central nervous system and move away from thoughts of control. You might also look to things you appreciate in your environment: a sunny day, friends and family, or your favorite book or piece of art. Being in the present and appreciating your surroundings can free you from thoughts and help bring you closer to surrender.
Give Yourself Permission to Rest
Thoughts of control and impulse stem from feelings of fear and uncertainty. Therefore, when you experience these emotions, you might respond by trying to protect and control things in your environment. Not only does this behavior take a toll on your emotional health, but it also impacts your physical health. Surrendering offers you the peace and strength in knowing that it is OK if you don’t know what’s going to happen. When you understand that things will happen outside of your control, you can stop worrying and instead give yourself a break from spending energy and emotional real estate regarding things you cannot change.
The Benefits of Surrender
Surrender allows for things to come to you and happen as they should. By surrendering, you start to tune into how you feel and get to know and understand yourself on a deeper level. Not only do you take in your surroundings, but you also begin to appreciate recovery as a journey to experience and not something you can complete. Additional ways in which you will benefit from surrender include:
- Setting reasonable goals and expectations
- Gaining a positive outlook
- Accepting things as they are
- Understanding and managing your emotions in healthier ways
Trying to control the uncontrollable will only put you in a constant cycle of disappointment when things don’t meet your expectations. Surrender will help you eradicate unnecessary stress and anxiety, which will improve your addiction recovery in profound ways. At Associated Behavioral Healthcare in the greater Seattle area, we offer various conventional and alternative treatments and therapies to ensure that we meet the needs of each individual that seeks care here. If you are currently finding it difficult to move forward in your recovery, then the time to seek help is today. To find out more, call us today at (844) 335-7384.