In your experience of faith and/or spirituality, there’s probably a sense of trusting in something. Faith feels good. To have confidence is to have faith. “Faith comes from direct experience, reason, trusted sources, and sometimes from something that just feels deeply right and that’s all you can say about it,” according to Rick Hanson, PhD.

At times, faith behaves much like something that you just expect or know to be true without any ‘top-of-mind’ awareness. For example, if you insert your debit card into an ATM you expect to be given options to withdraw or deposit money, check your account balance, etc. However, there are times when faith is more of a conscious choice; like when a parent chooses to believe their child will be ok when he/she starts driving for the first time. In your brain, faith (broadly defined to include assumptions and expectations) is an effective way to safeguard neural resources without having to work out the details every time from scratch. Dr. Hanson goes on to say that without faith in the world and in yourself, life feels uncertain and scary. Faith grounds you in what’s reliable and supportive; it’s the anecdote to doubt and fear, leading to more positive experiences.

Learning to have more faith in the best parts of yourself is an effective way to grow, change, and reverse habits. Therefore, developing personal faith is an important if not obvious consideration in addiction treatment. Faith can be a choice, so why not choose to leverage that power when recovering from drug addiction?