The recovery journey is just that: a journey. On this journey, each individual person will attempt to find their own personal method for rebuilding their lives. You have to spend a lot of time constructing a life that is centered around your addiction, your substance. Now you will embark on a journey of building a life free of that substance but rather filled with healthy practices that bring joy and peace. Meditation is one such practice that people have found beneficial and healing in that journey.
How Can Meditation Help?
Many people have meditation all wrong. They think meditation is just a religious practice that only very special people participate in. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Meditation is a practice that seeks to link up the body to the mind. Most people spend their days disconnected. Their body is going through the motions of living, but their mind is in another place. When the mind and the body sync up an individual can enjoy improved mental health, physical health, and a better quality of life.
How Do You Meditate?
When you first think of meditation you might be thinking of monks sitting cross-legged for long periods of time. Although that is certainly one image of meditation and one version, meditation can be many things to many people. The truth is meditation is a very personal experience and you can create your own personal meditation practice that suits you.
There are, however, a couple of aspects to meditation that are universal to anyone who practices.
- Take time alone- Meditation is best practiced alone, in a quiet place. This allows you to focus without distraction
- Focus on your breathing- By training your focus on your breath you will give your mind a break from all of the thoughts that zoom around in there all day.
- Come back to your breathing- Especially in the beginning you will notice that your mind will want to drag you back into your zooming thoughts. That’s okay. Every time this happens, simply acknowledge and then bring your focus back to your breath. At first, you will feel like you spend your entire session doing just this, but over time your mind will become trained to calm down and simply focus on the breath.
Although getting out from under a substance addiction is always the best path for both your health and mental well-being, there can be mental health hurdles to overcome during recovery. This huge change to your life and way of doing things can result in anxiety, frustration, stress, triggers, cravings, and even to some degree depression as you grieve the loss of your former life. Meditation is a wonderful way to help you deal with these issues.
Those who regularly practice meditation report that the benefits include:
- A reduction in stress
- Better toleration for stressful situations
- Better concentration
- Elevated mood
- Better sleep patterns
Scientific studies have shown that when individuals are practicing meditation there is an alteration in their brainwaves. This alteration translates into better psychological functions and processes of events happening in one’s life. Overall, meditation has been found to have a calming effect on the entire nervous system, similar and often better than the effects of some anti-depressant medications.
Combining meditation practice with traditional rehab such as that provided by Recovery Corps Los Angeles gives patients solid support on their recovery journey.