When it comes to addiction recovery, your mental state makes a big difference in your success. Mindfulness meditation for addiction can help bring clarity and serenity to the drug or alcohol rehab process, making it easier to focus on your recovery journey.
How to Meditate During Recovery
Meditation involves focusing on the moment and letting other concerns gently slip away from your conscious thoughts for a while. While the typical image of meditation usually involves someone sitting quietly while concentrating on each individual breath, there are actually a lot of different ways to perform meditation.
Some people in recovery find it helpful to use a guided meditation, which involves listening to a recording of someone’s voice asking you to visualize specific peaceful scenes or focus on different parts of your body in sequence. Others may find it useful to repeat a specific word or phrase to focus the mind. The general idea is to promote mindfulness, a complete focus on the moment without worrying about what has happened before or things to come in the future.
Why Meditation for Addiction Recovery Works
Meditation is a completely natural way to achieve a calm, tranquil, positive mood. The process of meditation activates the prefrontal cortex of the brain, helps control levels of neurotransmitters and leads to the release of chemicals called endorphins. This leads to feelings of relaxation and happiness, creating a natural, safe high that can replace the high formerly achieved through drug or alcohol use. The high generated by meditation sticks around for a while after the session, and it dissipates gradually so there is no emotional crash afterward.
Relieving Stress with Meditation
Addiction recovery can be stressful, but meditation can help ease some of the anxiety and emotional turmoil. The same biochemical changes that create positive feelings during meditation also help reduce stress chemicals in the brain. Meditating helps you become more emotionally balanced, which makes you more resistant to stress and worry.
Meditation also calms the mind in a way that lets you think carefully about the things that led to your addiction. You might realize that certain types of negative thinking have been affecting your recovery or that unresolved issues in your past have impacted your addiction. Using meditation before a therapy session can help you break through mental barriers that may be slowing your recovery. After a meditation session, you might also be better able to recognize destructive patterns in your life and come up with ways to change them.
Mindfulness as a Relapse-Prevention Technique
Some people in recovery use meditation to help prevent relapses. Having a go-to alternate activity that you can do anywhere makes it easier to resist cravings. When mindfulness meditation becomes a habit, the desire to do drugs or drink alcohol may decrease.
Meditation for addiction might also help you better recognize changes in your body or mental state that make you more vulnerable to a relapse. Knowing yourself more intimately helps you catch any signs of a potential problem early so you can use the techniques or coping skills you’ve learned during addiction therapy.
If you’re ready to learn skills, including mindfulness meditation, to help you recover from addiction to drugs or alcohol, give our NC rehab center a call at 252-715-3905 or complete our contact form today.