How Meditation Can Help You Recover From Addiction

Meditation has changed my life. It’s helped me to reduce my stress levels, calm my racing mind and connect to the present moment. I’m so glad I found it; I don’t know how I coped without it before!

The Benefits of Meditation for Recovering Addicts

Recovery from addiction requires a long road of hard work and changes. These changes are often difficult and painful, and we often have a lot of trouble relaxing in order to process them. Our brains have the ability to forget trauma and to repress memories, which can lead to intense emotional distress when we return to old triggers. Thanks to meditation, I’ve become much more comfortable with the discomfort of memories that I had been trying to forget. A good meditation can help you move through your memories rather than letting them overtake you. This is a great skill to have as you transition into the next stage of your recovery, which is finding ways to work through painful experiences rather than repressing them.

How to Use Meditation When You Feel Anxious

When I feel anxious I’ll do something as simple as meditating for five minutes it’s that simple. Once you’re in the present moment, there’s so much potential to calm your mind and improve your mood. For example: You’re bored. Your body goes into “fight or flight” mode. You start sweating. You panic. You can’t stay focused on anything else because you’re concentrating on how you’re feeling, which makes you feel worse. 1. Simply breathe normally and notice your body. Inhale, and feel the air enter your lungs. Exhale, and notice your body exhaling. Notice the breathing in-and-out, in-and-out, in-and-out. 2. Let your thoughts drift away to a pleasant memory. Notice where they are and where they are not.

What Happens When You Meditate

Here’s a brief overview of what happens when you sit quietly and observe your breath. There is an increased production of the feel good hormone oxytocin. If you’re feeling curious, check out the great TED talk by Adyashanti on this very topic. You may see greater relaxation, easier deep concentration, or a stronger connection with the inner self. Additionally, the longer you’re meditating, the more these benefits happen. It took me several months to notice how meditation was working for me, and now I see it several times a day!

Supporting Yourself in Recovery

For years, I had no coping mechanisms for dealing with distressing feelings. Going through “one day at a time” had become an incredible way of getting through the day. However, once you’re in recovery and make the transition to a 12-step program, things become very different. The 12-step program provides structure, a community of support, and a community of recovery. This is incredibly important, and is the cornerstone of my recovery. I’m also very fortunate to have a good partner by my side as I navigate my journey through recovery.

Stay In The Present Moment

If you’re still taking painkillers, using alcohol or experimenting with other substances to help cope with life, I urge you to ask for professional help to get clean. You may have your reasons, but it’s also your responsibility to make sure you’re getting the help you need. The bottom line: get help or face the consequences! It’s that simple. Addiction destroys the quality of your life, causing extreme, severe physical and mental suffering. Sometimes the only thing that helps is the thought that you don’t want to go back to that way of life. Every time you’re tempted, the thought “I don’t want to go back” is all that’s needed to keep you in the present moment.

Posted by Groundedfish

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