Can meditation help you beat addiction? Most people don’t think mindfulness practices can help with recovery. A standard recovery plan usually consists of behavioral therapy, counseling, and medication.
But focusing on meditation and breathwork can help you deal with cravings and prevent relapse. Therefore, using a daily practice of meditation can be a powerful tool as you work toward sobriety.
Meditation can look different for each individual. But, there are some common factors that make a good or effective meditation practice.
This article will cover how meditation affects recovery. We’ll talk about what meditation is and how to make it a part of your recovery plan.
What Is Meditation
When most people think of meditation they think of the Far East. They may picture Buddha or monks sitting in a Tibetan temple. But, there’s more to meditation than that. In fact, some meditation techniques don’t even require total silence.
Meditation is defined as a mind-body practice that promotes calm and relaxation. This is the definition provided by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. There are many cases of meditation improving illnesses and overall well-being.
How to Meditate
Proper meditation requires sitting in an area where you can concentrate. It doesn’t have to be a quiet area. But, most of the time it is.
While you’re sitting, you’ll focus your attention on your breathing. Meditation teachers suggest starting with deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Eventually, you’ll settle into a normal breathing pattern. At this point, your only job is to focus on your breath.
You’ll want to focus on where you can feel your breath the most. For some people, it’s in the feeling of the air moving in and out over their upper lip. For others, they feel it in the heaving of their chest up and down. Others still, will feel it in the rising and falling of their stomach.
The breath can be felt in a different spot by every person. In fact, every breath can be felt in a different spot. That’s what makes meditation such a unique practice.
One trick that teachers teach new meditators is to place one of your hands on your stomach. As your hand rises and falls with the breath, it makes it easier to bring your focus inward. It can also help “ground” you again after any thoughts or distractions pass through your mind.
It’s important to note that you will have thoughts and distractions. Many people think your mind has to be completely blank to meditate effectively. That’s not the case. Effective meditation is all about how quickly you can let thoughts pass and return your focus to your breath.
The reason we say that meditation doesn’t necessarily have to be quiet is that meditation can be guided or unguided. During an unguided session, you’ll sit in silence and become one with your breathing. A guided session will walk you through how to breathe to help and give you “prompts” to focus on to help you along your way. Some meditations even have a “mantra” that’s repeated over and over again. This can be done as a whisper or in your own mind.
There are many resources for learning meditation. Most smartphones have free apps you can download to guide you through meditation sessions as you become more familiar with the process.
The Benefits of Meditation
The medical community has just begun to realize the benefits of meditation. The practice has been used in the Far East for centuries. But, it’s only become popular in Western medicine in the last decade.
Now, it’s hard to ignore the benefits of consistent meditation. It can offer you a number of mental health benefits. People who meditate regularly experience lower levels of anxiety. They also experience less stress or worry. Meditation can increase mood, as well as increase feelings of calm and mental relaxation.
But, the benefits of meditation aren’t just mental. The practice can offer you physical benefits, as well. Smoking addiction, insomnia, and depression have all been shown to improve because of meditation. People suffering from high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis can also reap the benefits of meditation.
Meditating can also help patients manage the symptoms of more serious illnesses. There has been evidence to show that meditation helps to improve the overall health of cancer patients. Of course, meditation can’t cure cancer. But, meditation has been shown to help lung and breast cancer patients.
Meditation helps these patients deal with the pain, stress, and fatigue of their disease. It can also help to deal with the low self-esteem cancer patients can experience.
Can Meditation Help You Beat Addiction?
Many people wonder, “Can meditation help you beat addiction”? This is because meditation is so effective at calming and relaxing the mind. The answer is: Yes. Meditation can help you beat addiction. But, that’s only the short answer. There’s more to it than that.
A consistent meditation practice is part of the support system of a thorough recovery plan. Meditation can help you deal with cravings, prevent relapse, and cope with your addiction triggers. The practice doesn’t replace a complete recovery program but it can be a great tool to help in the process.
In addition to meditation, recovering users should also look into a standard recovery program. This means a program with therapy sessions, counseling, and possibly medication. Meditation can help you make great progress toward recovery. It shouldn’t be overlooked. But, professional medical support is important, too.
Do You Think Meditation Can Help You Beat Addiction?
So, what do you think? Do you think that meditation can help you beat addiction? We think it can. But, it needs a little help.
Anybody struggling with addiction can benefit from starting to meditate. However, they should also pursue more traditional forms of recovery, as well.
At Just Believe Recovery Center, we focus on a complete approach to recovery. Patients under our care receive both traditional and holistic treatment methods. The result is a well-rounded program to help people get back on their feet.
Contact us today if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction. We’re more than happy to help.