Meditation & Mindfulness
Meditation refers to a broad array of mindfulness practices that promotes relaxation, build internal energy or life force, and foster compassion, love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness. Many people believe the purpose of meditation is to tune out or temporarily escape from life, but the opposite is true. The purpose of meditation is to tune in.
Beyond de-stressing, meditation helps clients find their own peace–the peace that, in many spiritual traditions, “passes all understanding”. Although a seemingly simple technique, mindfulness operates on several key levels. It allows us to notice cravings before they take hold. It strengthens our “muscles of attention”, making it easier to let go of addictive thoughts. It makes us better equipped to experience cravings without having to react to them. And it enhances our ability to cope with stress, which means we’re less likely to turn to pleasure as a crutch in the first place.
Understanding more about mindfulness
Mindfulness is a state of mind that is practiced during meditation sessions that can help to improve the results of these sessions and mental well-being in general. Essentially, mindfulness is a technique in which a person works on living in the present moment. This is in opposition to worrying about the past or future. For many people in recovery, dealing with negative emotions that have to do with their past experiences or worrying about the next steps in their recovery can impede their progress throughout recovery. But, mindfulness helps individuals achieve the skill of working on identifying thoughts, feelings, and behaviors they are experiencing in the present moment. This can assist with living a life that can address presenting issues in the here and now rather than gaining stress and worry over things that are out of a person’s control.
During meditation sessions, individuals can work on practicing mindfulness and even utilizing this technique outside of meditation settings in order to promote peace and work to take their recovery one moment and day at a time.
Benefits of meditation sessions during recovery
There are a number of benefits to utilizing this form of alternative addiction therapy throughout the recovery process. Some of these benefits include:
Immune Boosting: Meditation can help the body become even better prepared to face foreign intruders like bacteria and viruses. This can help to prevent illness and negative physical ailments throughout recovery.
Stress Reduction: Meditation can help to calm both the mind and the body, giving individuals the time and place to become aware of their physical processes, thoughts, and emotions. This can evoke relaxation and relieve built-up stress and tension in the body that can lead to unwanted symptoms during recovery. In return, the stress reduction that comes with meditation is crucial to mental health programs such as anxiety treatment.
Sleep Improvement: Many people in recovery have issues with staying asleep and getting healthy amounts of sleep. Meditation induces relaxation and stress reduction, which can help the body calm enough to get the sleep it needs. This can improve recovery outcomes as the side effects of not getting enough sleep can derail recovery efforts.