Seeking help for drug or alcohol abuse is the first step towards the long road to sobriety. However, those who are in recovery for addiction may still face daily challenges. It’s stressful for those new in recovery to learn to rebuild relationships, manage cravings, and hang onto their newfound sobriety. Part of recovery is to learn new coping skills instead of turning to drugs or alcohol for solace. Practicing meditation can effectively help you deal with depression, stress, and anxiety while having more patience and resilience with whatever life throws your way. Reducing levels of stress and anxiety is vital in recovery. Meditation involves being aware of your feelings, thoughts, and sensory experiences in the current moment. It helps you detach from impulses and thoughts which can reduce cravings and prevent relapse. Meditation improves overall physical and mental health by:
- Reducing the chance of depression
- Relieving pain
- Reducing your blood pressure
- Helping you manage stress
- Improving your immune system
Here are seven benefits you will experience when you practice meditation for addiction.
Many people are harder on themselves than they are on others especially when in recovery for addiction. Being mindful during meditation encourages attentiveness and observation to our feelings and thoughts. It helps you learn to be patient with your emotions and yourself. Proper reflection gives individuals a new positive image of themselves and provides them with internal peace.
2. Increased Attention
Meditation is not about dwelling on the past or your mistakes, it’s about being mindful right now. Regular practice will make it easier for you to enjoy the current moment. Whatever situation you are faced with, you will be able to be more focused and accept the moment for what it is. Many people who have ADD or ADHD turn to alcohol or drugs for relief. One of the key benefits of meditation is that it improves concentration and attention.
3. Improved Physical Health
Not only is meditation excellent for your mental health, it positively affects your physical health as well. Developing self-awareness through meditation will have a positive impact on your anxiety and stress levels. Low levels of stress will help reduce your risk of heart disorders, hypertension, depression, and other stress-related illnesses. One of the most common withdrawal symptoms in recovery is insomnia. Studies show that meditation can improve the quality of sleep.
4. Increased Resilience
Being able to bounce back from tough and sometimes impossible life situations are two things that are significantly crucial in recovery. Recovering addicts are some of the most resilient people you’ll meet. Regular practice of mindful meditation can help users acquire higher levels of resilience which is essential to preventing potential relapse.
5. Meditation Works Even When You’re Not Actively Practicing It
When you make meditation a part of your daily life, you’ll notice that it continues working long after your practice. Meditation changes the amygdala region of the brain that responds to emotional stimuli. This change creates positive effects that last even when you’re not meditating.
6. Reduces Anxiety and Social Anxiety
People especially recovering addicts, experience anxiety because they fixate on the past or the future. Since meditation requires you to focus on the present moment, it helps quiet the overactive brain. It also allows you to take deep breaths and get some perspective.
7. A Natural Dopamine Release
As an addict’s addiction progresses, their tolerance builds leaving them to seek larger quantities of their chosen drug to achieve a euphoric ‘high.’ Research shows that regular meditation creates the same effect. Ultimately, meditation provides a natural ‘high’ without the negative withdrawal symptoms.
To learn more about treatment options for drug and alcohol addiction, please visit The Recovery Village.