Alcoholism is a powerful beast, but developing a higher consciousness through belief in a power greater than yourself is more powerful than anything else. Individuals in recovery are more likely to maintain sobriety in the long term if they are spiritually connected to a power greater than themselves. This power is neither religious or punishing – it can simply be the power of the universe.

1. Develop an attitude of gratitude

On awakening each day, make a list of 5 things you are grateful for. Try to focus on things that aren’t materialistic, such as the fresh air you breathe, the fact that you are sober, or the friendships you have made in recovery. At the end of the day, review this list again. Use gratitude each day to appreciate the things that are truly meaningful in life.

2. Read spiritual books

There are many books that are spiritual but not religious. Reading not only helps clear your mind of any troubling thoughts, but it can increase your awareness about the blessings you have today. By reading spiritual books, you will be given suggestions on how to formulate a new outlook on life.

3. Mindful meditation

Mindful meditation is a way to focus on your breathing while taking in the present moment for exactly what it is. This form of meditation will make you more aware of the true essence of your being, while not focusing on the past or the future. You will become relaxed and able to live in the moment without worry. Meditation is a great way to connect to your higher self and develop a powerful awareness of the world around you.

4. Be of service to others

In sobriety, the main purpose is to help others and to get rid of self centered thinking. Try volunteering at a homeless shelter to give your time and company to those who are in need. Take another recovering alcoholic out for coffee and talk with them. Share your experience, strength, and hope, so that they may relate and find a way to recover from alcoholism as you did. Helping others will give you a purpose and make you more open to receiving the blessings the universe has in store for you.

5. Smile at strangers

Become more aware of the strangers you pass by on the street. You have no idea the struggles they are facing in life, but you also have no idea how a simple, kind smile may affect their day. Smile at people you pass by in order to spread love everywhere you go. Make the world a better place, one smile at a time.

6. Spend time in nature

The forces of nature are amazing and beautiful – so take a little time to enjoy it. Look at the leaves, the grass, the ripples in the pond across the street, and take time to appreciate the natural beauty that is all around you. Try to find beauty everywhere you go. Breath it in and relish it. Spending time in nature allows you to connect to the energy of the universe surrounding you.

7. Pray for others

If you find resentment taking over your mind, you are blocking yourself from spiritual growth. However, through prayer for other people, even those whom you do not care for, can make these resentments disappear. Learn to love others for exactly who they are – defects and all. Remember that nobody is perfect, but everybody deserves love.

Life in sobriety doesn’t end with alcohol rehab, it continues to grow depending on the daily maintenance of our spiritual condition. Follow these 7 suggestions to grow and promote your spiritual growth in sobriety.