Alcoholism and drug addiction are complex conditions that plague millions of people. Recovering from them requires a comprehensive treatment plan. For many recovering addicts and alcoholics, that plan typically includes talk therapy, support groups, and, if warranted, medication. However, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices, particularly meditation, can provide a vital source of additional support during recovery. Keep reading to better understand how meditation can be very beneficial for anyone working to overcome their addiction.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice that goes back thousands of years. Often used to enhance spiritual connection and enlightenment, the practice essentially involves quieting the mind and concentrating on a specific thought or idea. Meditation is usually done in a quiet place. While many who practice it do it alone, it can also be done in a group setting.
There’s no set time frame for a meditation session; it can be done for just a minutes or an hour or two. Meditation can be done any time of the day. However, many – if not most – individuals who meditate regularly strive to do so at the same time each day. It can be practiced by anyone, regardless of spiritual or religious beliefs. In fact, many people who meditate do it to relieve stress and feel more centered – with religion having no connection to their practice.
Relation to Rehab
Many treatment centres have included meditation in their overall treatment plan. Another Road Addiction Recovery Centre is one. It’s not used in place of other therapies. Instead, it provides powerful additional support for addicts in recovery. Part of the value of meditation is that those in treatment can practice it even after the initial recovery period is complete. This makes meditation a valuable tool they can use to stay sober for the rest of their lives.
In general, meditation is a practice that allows a person to focus on any number of things. For example, addicts may use it to slow down their breathing and calm their nerves then they’re feeling anxious or stressed. This helps reduce the negative feelings that compel alcoholics and drug addicts to reach for substances. It may also be used to connect in spiritual ways during recovery. Many individuals use meditation to connect with a higher power through prayers or mantras. Feeling connected to a higher power has helped many addicts stay on the path of recovery.
It’s easy to learn. Any recovering alcoholic or addict can learn to calm his or her mind with meditation. Some learn the techniques in rehab or during counseling sessions. However, the art of meditation can also be learned at wellness centers or from religious groups. There are also meditation how-to guides available through books and websites. For those interested in learning the techniques through yoga, it’s crucial to find a place that incorporates meditative practices; some yoga classes, like those in fitness centers, may focus only on the physical movements.
It can be done anywhere. This is one of the most valuable aspects of using meditation for addiction recovery. Since stress is one of the primary triggers for relapse, meditative techniques are particularly beneficial because they can be done whenever and wherever stress is felt. Meditation can be used to lower the body’s acute response to stress at home or in the workplace, so recovering addicts are less likely to feel the tension and strain tempt them to drink or use.
Meditation may also reduce the cravings that can trigger a relapse. For instance, a recovering alcoholic can meditate when he finds himself in the parking lot outside a bar. Calming the mind for a few minutes may provide the distance needed to make a reasonable and healthy decision about whether to step into that bar or find the nearest AA meeting.
We promote and practice Mindfulness techniques here at Another Road.
We are a 28 day rehab for men with addiction problems located in the Toronto area in Bolton, Ontario.