Addiction is a disease that has both a physical and an emotional element.
The first step to recovering from this disease is to uncover the emotional cause behind it. Oftentimes, events involving pessimism, depression, or anxiety are the start of an addiction. These feelings arise from wanting things that you cannot have, whether it be money, a relationship, a job, power, recognition, etc., which all lead to unhappiness and a need to escape.
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Practicing mindful meditation can help you address these feelings of negativity and experience the other benefits that come from meditation. Meditation can help during every step of addiction recovery.
Here are the main benefits of meditation for those going through addiction therapy.
Research has been revealing the significant benefits of combining addiction therapy with meditation practices. Here are just a few:
- Meditation has great physical benefits. When you meditate you can decrease tension-related pain, increase your serotonin production and energy levels, and you can lower blood pressure. These benefits can result in overall improvement in behavior and mood.
- Meditation carries great psychological benefits. Meditation can decrease the causes of addiction. You’ll experience less anxiety when you meditate as well as an increase in calmness and the ability to focus and find peace of mind. Overall, it improves your emotional stability and allows you to relax.
- Meditation results in great spiritual benefits. Meditating allows for you to be more creative and open-minded, giving you a better sense of oneness and happiness. You get in touch with your mind and body when you meditate allowing you to become more conscious and furthers your personal transformation.
Combining meditation with addiction therapy can provide great support to the process and help you stick with it when therapy gets hard. It will also help you have an overall better outlook and confidence in the therapy and your ability to overcome your addiction.
Meditation Exercises for Addiction Treatment
Many meditative exercises exist and can help in the process of addiction therapy. Individuals going through addiction therapy can try any of the following techniques to see which one works best for them.
- Muscle Relaxation: In this form of meditation, you have to mindfully relax each part of your body, relaxing from the top of your head and slowly working your way down to your toes.
- Mantra Based: This method requires you to repeat a phrase or word out loud or internally. It helps to bring a wandering mind back into focus with the mantra.
- Guided Meditation: For this meditation, you are verbally guided by an instructor to help you through the process.
- Movement Meditation: This is any form of meditation that involves movement, such as tai chi, hiking, yoga, walking, etc. while you remain mindful of each part of your body.
Breathing: This is a very simple meditation practice that can have a great effect on your well-being. The individual breathes naturally while focusing on their exhalation and inhalation.
Many rehabilitation centers have started to incorporate elements of meditation into their treatment programs. The website from SOBA and other websites like them show their treatment options, allowing you to see which ones work with meditation or work well with self-guided meditation.
The Bottom Line
Meditation has been used for thousands of years for both religious and spiritual purposes. From quieting the mind to opening the heart and soul, the methods of meditation have helped many people achieve contentment, peace, and happiness. It’s been shown to increase awareness and sharpen the mind while helping you achieve a more enriching and fuller life.
For those in addiction recovery, meditation can be an extension of the basics of most programs and treatments. It helps those who suffer get to the emotional root of their addiction and improve their emotional well-being and overall health
It’s important to remember that, while meditation can help you greatly on your path to recovery, it’s not a replacement for traditional treatment. It’s meant to be practiced alongside the main treatment you’re receiving. It should be used in combination with a variety of one-on-one therapy, education sessions, medication, and group counseling.
For many individuals, they first encounter mindful practices and meditation when they enter a program or treatment center. They often continue their practice of meditation after they leave their programs. Making meditation a lifelong habit can help you maintain long-term abstinence during your recovery. Remember, if you or someone you love is suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction then seek help immediately.