The simple practice of mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool for addiction recovery. Meditation help addicts recover and stay the course in recovery. Let’s investigate how meditation helps addiction recovery.
Addiction is also sometimes called dependency, but whatever an addict is addicted to, it is not really dependable in a good sense. Sure, you can depend on that substance, like alcohol or drugs, or activity, like gambling, to keep you numb, filling the mind with the effects of your craving. But you can’t depend on that strategy to solve any problems. So dependency seems like an odd choice of words.
When you decide you have had enough and you want to turn away from that addiction and discover a new and better life full of connection and happiness the reason it’s called dependency becomes clear. The addiction might not be a very good tool to deal with any problem, but it might feel like the only tool you have.
How can you face the challenges of your life without your familiar, dependably undependable non-solution? Without turning to your addiction, you are left on a roller coaster of previously suppressed emotions. In the early days of your efforts to leave addiction behind your cravings will be strong. Dealing with life without giving into the craving will be stressful. There is hope. You can become independent. You just need to cultivate new tools, ones that work! Mindfulness meditation is a great one, and it’s easy to learn.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is a form of concentration. Under stress, our minds can feel chaotic, full of racing thoughts. When we practice meditation, we seek to focus our minds on a single thing. Deep breathing is calming. We always have our breath with us, so focusing our mind on our breath is a convenient and popular choice. Some people choose to meditate while focusing on a visible object, or the sound of a mantra they are chanting. Many people first turn their mind to their body and their emotional state and check in to try to calmly observe how they are feeling.
Whatever you choose to focus on, the goal is the same. Let go of your thoughts and quiet your mind so that you merely observe without thinking or judging. If you have never really stopped to listen to yourself think, it can be alarming at first to hear your mind racing around. Don’t worry. That’s perfectly normal.
Tips for Meditation – It’s Easy!
You can start meditating right away. It’s easy. Just sit down where you are comfortable and try to concentrate on the sensation of breathing. You are meditating! Thoughts will arise and distract your focus and that is ok. Just observe them and let them go. Don’t answer them or judge them. Try to just let them pass. Of course, sometimes you won’t be able to stop your mind from reacting. It’s ok! There is nothing to worry about here. You can’t fail at meditation. Don’t pressure yourself. Whatever you can achieve is ok. If you keep trying, you will succeed more and more.
How Meditation Helps Addiction Recovery
Mindfulness meditation allows us to be more than a swirling jumble of un-examined thoughts and emotions. When you step back and observe your mind, you realize you are something more than your thoughts and your emotions. You can watch your thoughts and see how your emotions arise. You begin to see more clearly that emotions come and go. Whatever troubling feelings you have at the moment, you know they will pass.
Thus by watching our mind, we develop a tool for responding to stress by observing it. We see it coming in our thoughts and we feel our emotions arise. We can sit calmly in the middle of this storm, confident it will pass, and simply letting it go.
Once you are aware of your thoughts, you can choose to encourage and focus on constructive thoughts. You can be aware of less helpful thoughts and begin to see patterns of thinking and emotion that you would be happy to leave behind. Gently, without harsh judgment, you begin to let these thoughts go.
Addiction generally helps us turn away from our problems. Meditation helps us see them more clearly. Not only do we see our problems more clearly, we can calmly observe our reaction. We may realize what we once perceived as problems are not so bad, if we can solve the problem of how we react to them.
Choose a Recovery Program that Teaches Meditation
Some people recognize their addiction in time to successfully recover without help, but for many, apparent success doesn’t last. Once you recognize addiction is causing serious problems in your life and you don’t want to be a slave to your cravings anymore, you know recovery is one of the most important things you’ll do. And it’s a commitment you want to able to reassert every day.
You are probably reading this because you are beginning to admit that you have a problem (or know someone who does, and want to help them). Take the first step and join a recovery program. Twelve step programs offer group support and a method that has helped millions of people live free, healthy, happy and connected.
You might also want to consider am in-patient recovery program to get your recovery off to a strong start so it will last. We recommend choosing one with a meditation program. At Seasons Bali, meditation is a central part of our recovery programs. You can see our Primary Program for Addiction Recovery here. Our special Holistic Recovery Program puts extra emphasis on meditation and related practices.
Want to know more about how to get free from addiction? We can help! Call us now (toll free Australia) 1800 288 348 or +61 398045757 or email us at [email protected] and we will call you.
Take the first step. Talk to one of our friendly experts in addiction recovery today.