Addiction recovery requires a multi-faceted approach. While a conventional substance abuse treatment approach is integral to one’s recovery plan, many other complementary therapies can play a significant role in one’s ability to maintain sobriety.
Meditation is one of those crucial components that help recovering addicts stay in the present and stay focused on their well-being. The following article will outline the many benefits of meditation in addiction recovery.
Meditation Helps You Make Better Choices
Whether it is focused breathing or more formal practice, meditation helps you focus your thoughts on the here and now. The ability to keep yourself in the present is critical in your sobriety—especially when temptation lurks around every corner. When a craving or trigger is felt, the thoughts of using can be overwhelming and can make you more vulnerable to relapse.
Through meditation, you learn that you can observe your thoughts and desires without acting on them. Most importantly, meditation teaches you that you aren’t necessarily in control of the thoughts and ideas that enter your mental space but that you are, however, in control of how you respond to them.
Meditation Restores Emotional Balance
If you are in early recovery, you no doubt have experienced wide mood swings. The emotional roller coaster that you can find yourself on can wear you down physically and mentally. Through the regular practice of meditation, you can balance out the peaks and valleys and restore emotional balance. Additionally, you can transform negative states of mind, such as anger, into assertiveness.
Meditation Strengthens Your Relapse Prevention Plan
A considerable part of your recovery plan is finding healthy relapse prevention options to help you handle the craving and urges to use that are common in early recovery. Through the regular practice of meditation, you can gain insights about yourself that can help build your mental health and happiness. When you practice meditation, you can sense those thoughts and feelings that make you anxious or fearful, and you can take action to lessen their effect on you.
Meditation Reduces Stress
Stress is the number one reason why people in recovery relapse. While stress in recovery is in large part due to dealing with the triggers that can lead to relapse, there can be other factors. These can include thinking of and dwelling on the past, recognizing mistakes, and feeling guilty about the decisions you made while using drugs. Meditation allows you to stay in the moment and realize that you can only control what is in the present moment.
Meditation Helps Create Enjoyment
It may not seem so on the surface, but a significant benefit with meditation in addiction recovery is it helps create enjoyment. Compared to the wild times associated with drinking and drug use, sobriety can seem a bit boring by comparison. This perception can lead the newly recovering addict to yearn for the “glory days” when they drank and used drugs. Meditation can be a healthy outlet to experience excitement and joy.
When meditating, people over time can feel a greater sense of purpose and inner peace—and that transformation can be seen as an enjoyable experience. Additionally, meditation can open doors to creativity that can lead to greater enjoyment of everyday life.
Meditation Can Be Done Anywhere
Perhaps the most significant benefit of meditation in recovery is the fact that it can be done anywhere at any time during the day. If you can devote 15 minutes of your day to get away and find a quiet spot, meditation can be a valuable tool for you. Additionally, many meditation techniques are easy to master and can be put into practice right away.
Meditation can be a valuable tool that can help you stay on the path to recovery. Many treatment centers feature meditation practice in many of their programs. There are many varieties of meditative practice you can choose from, so you will be able to find a practice that best suits you and your daily schedule.
If you haven’t explored that world of mindful meditation, now is the time to dive in. Talk to your peers in recovery or your sponsor to see what kind of meditation practice they have adopted or can recommend.