How to handle a spiritual breakthrough hangover

You’ve just received the breakthrough of your life. A new realization, a knowing that seems to have erupted from deep down within you:

you don’t have to experience your life in the way you’ve always tolerated. 

You see that there is more out there for you. You feel a sense of purpose, a calling that is strongly pulling you forth in a new direction.

It changes everything. You know that you cannot go back to the way things used to be. You cannot un-know the truth bomb that has just been dropped upon you.

It leaves you feeling breathless, shell-shocked, dazed, and a little bit confused as you piece together what this new learning now means for you.

What do you do with this new knowledge?

There may be an impulse to spring into action and yell from the rooftops to share what you now know. You might run to the nearest Barnes & Nobles to read every book on spirituality and new age thought to satisfy this insatiable thirst to learn more. You may even want to change your job immediately in favor of pursuing your dreams. You could feel some fear and a bit of trepidation as you internally wrestle with the idea of moving forward with your newfound breakthrough.

As you re-evaluate everything in your life, you find yourself feeling exhausted and completely drained.  Your mind is on overload, your body is tense, and your emotions have just gone through the ringer.

You have entered a spiritual breakthrough hangover.

Much like the effects of drinking large amounts of liquor has on the brain, you have ingested a cocktail of new spiritual insight that interrupts your old pattern of thinking. You’re beginning to process things differently and your body has not yet caught up to the change. In this state we can feel quite vulnerable and momentarily out of touch with ourselves.

When this happens, take a moment to recognize what’s happening. Tune into your body and resist the urge to react right away. This is the ego’s need to move too quickly rather than rest in this new state of being. We run the risk of acting too impulsively or thinking we have it all figured out before we’ve really taken the time to connect with this new realization. Sometimes all we have to do is nothing and allow yourself to move through your spiritual hangover in your own time.

When you’re ready, talk to 2 or 3 trusted friends or a mentor about what you’ve discovered. Sharing your experiences with others who can understand what you’re going through will be extremely important. This creates a healthy sense of validation which will be so vital to you in this process.

And lastly, be open to what comes next. After the hangover is long gone and you’re left with this lasting new wisdom, you will be drawn to new ideas, possibilities, and experiences. Be willing to try, create, and experiment with it all.

Sometimes spiritual hangovers can feel like a Mack truck hit us. But this is the most important part of the process. Hangovers are the body’s way of offering us a temporary moment to repair and undo, so that we can return stronger than we were before.