Spiritual Practice as Coping Mechanism

Barbara F. Meyers

While many treatments, practices, and lifestyle changes can aid in recovery from mental health problems, studies have shown that one of the most important is spirituality. Spiritual practice is one of the primary coping mechanisms for people with such problems.

Many people can find hope in the faith that they are being held by someone or something larger than themselves. This might be God, the human spirit, or the universe. This faith is at the core of many addiction recovery programs, including twelve-step programs. It can allow them to surrender to an entity that receives them unconditionally, to know that they do not suffer alone, and to hope that things can get better. People need spiritual community not just because they’re lonely. They need to be included in a congregation’s spiritual development opportunities, both formal and informal: for instance, both the sermon and conversations about it in coffee hour afterward.

—an excerpt (pp. 29-30) from Held: Showing Up for Each Other's Mental Health