Benefits of Meditation During Recovery
What used to be a mystic practice shunned by many has become a significant part of addiction recovery. We’re talking about meditation—but is meditation for addiction recovery really effective? To answer that question, let’s look at what meditation is and the benefits it offers.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is a mental exercise including these primary purposes:
For a long time, meditation has only been used for religious and spiritual purposes, but, in recent years, its benefits have been seen to transcend spiritual realms. One area that has seen tremendous results from meditation is addiction recovery. With that said, let’s quickly look at the benefits of meditation for addiction recovery.
Helps Reduce Stress
One of the most significant symptoms of withdrawal from substance abuse is stress. Recovering from addiction and trying to repair a life ravaged by addiction is a huge challenge. To make matters worse, there are stress triggers all around. That’s where meditation comes in.
An essential component of meditation focuses on learning and practising breathing techniques that can help you when difficult situations arise. By controlling your breathing, you reduce the chances of your body triggering its fight or flight mechanism. This results in you perceiving the stress trigger in the right light and, thus, helps you manage the situation properly.
On the journey to addiction recovery, stress management can never be over-emphasized. This is one of the main reasons meditation is beneficial in helping patients recover.
Helps Improve Mental Health
Taking care of your mental health is complex. The complexities are made worse when coupled with addiction recovery. A few mental health-related benefits you get from meditation include:
- Helps increase self-awareness
- Boosts self-esteem
- Helps you focus on what really matters
- Promotes imagination and creativity
- Combats anxiety
- Improves cognition
Substance abuse can also lead to short- and long-term changes in the brain. These can lead to mental health issues like paranoia, depression, aggression, hallucinations, and many other problems. Treating these with traditional medications has the risk of simply shifting the patient’s dependence from a hard drug to a prescription drug. This is one of the primary reasons meditation has become a go-to solution to help recovering addicts improve their mental health.
Improves Emotional Well-Being
Another battle recovering addicts usually face on the path to recovery is emotional upheaval. This is usually caused by the changes in close relationships due to substance abuse. It’s also because of changes in hormone levels in the body.
Some of the negative emotions you or your loved one can go through as you recover from addiction include frustration, anger, depression, low self-worth, and many more. While counseling can help with handling these emotions, a holistic approach involves meditation. One of the most significant benefits of meditation is that it teaches you how to recognize and process your feelings. As a result, you’re better equipped to manage them.
Other emotional benefits of meditation for addiction recovery include:
- Increases patience and tolerance
- Promotes the release of happy hormones like dopamine
- Teaches mindfulness and how to be present
- Promotes empathy
With emotions in check, it becomes easier for recovering addicts to navigate the pressures of life much easier. It also helps overcome relapse triggers.
Types of Meditation for Addiction Recovery
Many types of meditation can be used to help recovering addicts successfully beat addiction. Here are five of the most common ones:
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is usually practiced in a peaceful, quiet setting while sitting in a relaxed and comfortable position. This type of meditation involves slowing down your thoughts and focusing your attention on the present moment. The point is to calm down your mind and relax your body. It also allows your feelings and thoughts to flow freely.
2. Mantra Meditation
Mantra meditation involves the repeated utterance of a mantra (simple phrase, sound, or word) during meditation. You can say the mantra out loud or silently. Its main purpose is to help you focus, as it promotes stillness and clarity of mind.
3. Breathing Meditation
The primary goal of breathing meditation is to develop inner peace and calm the mind. Seated in a comfortable position with your eyes closed, you concentrate on each breath. Your breathing must be deep, slow, and controlled. This type of meditation is meant to help you relax your muscles, calm your mind, and focus on the present moment.
4. Guided Meditation
As the name suggests, guided meditation involves a guide to help you focus. You sit in a relaxed position, and the facilitator (guide) takes you through a scenario while you use your imagination to feel the various states they evoke. Guided meditation is most used to help you become self-aware as it enables you to explore your inner feelings, thoughts, and reactions.
5. Moving Meditation
This type of meditation involves practicing mindfulness while engaged in focused and directed movement. Examples of moving meditation include yoga, tai chi, or simply meditating as you walk.
Meditation for Addiction Recovery – Give It a Try
As you’ve seen, meditation is a powerful tool that you can use to beat addiction. If you or a loved one have been struggling to beat an addiction, perhaps meditation will help give you the inner strength you need to win.
If you or a loved one need help and support on the journey to addiction recovery, give us a call at (888) 418-4188. We’ll be more than happy to help.