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The Role of Meditation in Recovery

Monday, February 4, 2019

The disease of addiction affects every aspect of a sufferer’s life – not only physically and mentally, but also spiritually. Because addiction is a chronic illness, its symptoms require ongoing management. Even after you have successfully transitioned out of a qualified rehabilitation program, you must commit to your ongoing recovery journey every day to reap the long-term rewards of your sober lifestyle.

Alongside traditional therapies and support meetings, meditation can be a powerful tool as you work to restore a healthy mind-body connection, regain your equilibrium and embrace a tranquil mindset. What are the benefits of pursuing a meditative practice, and how can it benefit you in recovery?

Common Meditation Myths

Many misconceptions have arisen around the practice of meditation, including that only people who are willing to retreat from the world can succeed at establishing this habit. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Meditation can benefit anyone from any walk of life.

You may have tried to meditate before, only to give up in frustration when you couldn’t successfully rid yourself of all thoughts. The idea that meditation involves the absence of thoughts is another myth surrounding the practice. Successful meditation involves recognizing and learning to accept thoughts and ideas when they arise, and becoming a better observer of your thought patterns. In other words, it’s a way of retraining your mind.

Benefits of Meditation

Scientists now know there are many advantages to practicing meditation regularly, including lowered levels of stress and anxiety and improved sleep and self-awareness. Meditation can also help you establish the habit of mindfulness, or the ability to “live in the moment.” While mindfulness has multiple practical applications for any meditation practitioner, it can play a highly specific role for people who are working on recovering from substance misuse disorders.

Meditation and mindfulness can teach you healthy methods for handling stressful situations and triggers that may have previously led you down the path to relapse. Discovering mindfulness can teach you to recognize the various factors begin a chain reaction of negative thought and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Fine-tuning your thought processes through meditation gives you the opportunity to reevaluate your behavior with a calm, nonjudgmental attitude. As you advance in your meditation practice, your triggers will become less daunting and more manageable.

How to Meditate

Meditating is deceptively simple on its surface, but takes some dedication to master. The good news is, you can meditate anywhere, anytime, without any special equipment.

Begin by sitting or lying in a comfortable position. Make sure you are not holding tension anywhere in your body. If you want, you can close your eyes. Then, focus on your breath. Take slow, deep breaths and pay attention to each inhale and exhale. Try to maintain this for at least two minutes. After this exercise, come back and note how long it was before you allowed your mind to wander away from your breath.

The benefit of this exercise is that it trains you to recognize when intrusive thoughts arise. As with other exercises, consistency is key to establishing a habit. Once you have repeated this daily for a few days or weeks, you’ll begin to notice when you’re not being mindful, so you can remind yourself to come back to the present moment.

Women-Only Recovery in Prescott, AZ

If you have been exploring meditation and are seeking a recovery center that takes a holistic approach to drug and alcohol rehabilitation, contact Canyon Crossing today. Our programs include spiritual retreats that help women reconnect with their spirituality and discover an inner peace.

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