Recovering from alcohol or drug addiction often requires a comprehensive treatment plan that may include therapy, support groups and medication. Learning to take one day at a time and put your trust in a higher power is vital to success. Meditation can help you by reducing both anxiety and depression, two common triggers that cause people to reach for drugs or alcohol.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is an ancient practice thought to improve both mental and physical health. While there are several variations, it typically involves sitting quietly and focusing your attention inward. It may involve focusing on your breathing or a special mantra and learning to let all thoughts float away. Meditation that promotes mindfulness involves exploring your feelings and emotions and learning to choose how you will respond to them.
How Do You Meditate?
You can take classes or watch videos to learn meditation techniques. You will need a quiet place to sit comfortably where you will not be disturbed for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. To learn the basic technique for meditating, wear comfortable clothes and sit in a relaxed position. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing.
You can repeat a phrase if you prefer. Many find it useful to use daily affirmations or inspirational quotes to focus their attention. Let all the cares and worries of the world float away. Some find it easier to learn if they concentrate on the sounds of nature. You could sit beside a brook, at the lake or in your own backyard and tune into the sounds or scents of nature as you breathe. If you are an urban dweller, try using a CD of nature sounds playing softly in the background to take advantage of the power healing force of nature.
What Are the Benefits of Meditation?
Meditating is beneficial for nearly anyone but is especially true for those recovering from addiction. It reduces the underlying causes most recovering addicts experience that causes them to relapse. It reduces both stress and anxiety and creates a feeling of peacefulness. The practice of meditation changes the brain. A study conducted on recovering addicts who meditated 30 minutes a day for eight weeks revealed that the subject’s brains had increased grey matter in areas of the brain that control self-awareness, introspection, learning and memory and decreased grey matter in the areas related to stress and anxiety.
Meditation is another effective tool for those undergoing alcohol or drug addiction recovery. It helps to reduce negative feelings while boosting your sense of well-being and peacefulness. When added to your treatment plan, meditation can help you avoid relapses and build a stronger sense of confidence.