Mindfulness and meditation aren’t just trending fads that are here today and gone tomorrow. Taking an introspective look at your mental health is here to stay and there are countless apps, classes, and videos to help you get there.
Meditation is more than just relaxing. It can help you face challenges as work, in your relationships, and in your health. Here are five reasons why meditation helped my recovery. Hopefully, if you are struggling with addiction, meditation can help you, too.
1. Meditation Calms a Racing Mind
One of the most touted benefits of meditation is that it helps calm your racing mind. Experienced yogis and those just starting on their meditation journey alike enjoy the calm, collected feeling that meditation brings. For those struggling with substance abuse or addiction, this mindfulness can help you achieve the calm state that drugs might help induce, but without the need for substances. Just you, your mind, and a quiet place are the only things you need to find your zen.
If you’re like most people, you find it hard to take time out of your day to meditate. But even 10 minutes here and there can help. Here is a simple breathing exercise you can try while just sitting at your desk or even in the car:
- Plug your nose with your thumb and forefinger using your right hand
- Release your thumb and take a deep breath in through your right nostril
- Plug your nose again and hold that breath for five seconds
- Release your forefinger and take a deep breath out through your left nostril
- Repeat this by taking a deep breath in through your left nostril now, plugging your nose for five seconds, and taking a deep breath out through your right nostril
- Repeat this process until you feel calm and collected
Another great way to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into your day is to use a website or app like BetterMe. These apps make it easy to start practicing meditation right from your living room.
2. Meditation Helps You Refocus
We all have stressors in our lives, from family drama to relationships to career stress. And unfortunately, a lot of people turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve this stress, when in reality meditation does a great job at that naturally. The practice of meditation is centered around focusing on your inner self, rather than the events that surround you. By focusing on yourself and your own wellbeing, you can change how you react to external events.
3. Meditation Puts the Importance on Mental Health
Substance abuse and addiction is a mental health issue. The connection between the two is a scary one, but one way meditation helps with recovery is that it helps strengthen your mental health so you can resist the temptation to use. Many rehabilitation centers incorporate meditation into their programs for this very reason. According to Promises Treatment Center, mindfulness focuses on three things:
- Becoming more aware of how often you respond from subconscious habit and intentionally working toward recognizing the outward cues which trigger your automatic responses.
- Training yourself to view challenging and stressful circumstances as growth opportunities.
- Learning to savor the positive and upbeat experiences life offers.
As you can tell, this approach has a lot to do with how professionals approach drug and alcohol recovery, as well.
4. Meditation is a Healthy Hobby
While traditionally practiced alone, meditation actually brings people together and there are many opportunities to practice meditation in a group setting. Through this, those overcoming addiction can find a support group that is focused on growth and development, rather than substance use and partying.
5. Meditation Helps You Find Like-Minded Friends
Like the social aspect of meditation, the like-mindedness is also a powerful reason why meditation can help with recovery. Many people who practice meditation and mindfulness put an emphasis on their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health, which are important lessons to learn for people who are recovering from addiction.
Meditation helped my recovery, but it’s also only one piece of the puzzle. If you or someone you know is looking for more resources on recovery and getting and staying sober, check out this guide to recovery for helpful information.