During the recovery process from addiction many people will find moments where they feel nervous, anxious, depressed or irritable. Although these feelings are completely normal, these emotions can often leave the individual feeling discouraged about their recovery. As a way to relieve these feelings and emotions many different treatment centers and facilities today incorporate the use of meditation into their programs as part of the recovery process.
The Meditation Process
Since the early 1970’s studies in both the United States and Europe have proven to show drops in levels of stress and anxiety when a person has been taught how to properly meditate. Meditation is a style of discipline that involves reflective thinking and focus of the mind. Although there are many different ways to meditate, each form usually includes three main criteria.
- Use of a defined technique
- Logical relaxation
- A self-induced state
Another crucial component of meditation is the ability for the individual to focus on their breathing. Doing this not only helps calm the person down but also allows them to become centered and focused on what they are doing.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation helps recovering addicts reflect on past harms and also helps them realize how their addiction has affected others around them. Through meditation many individuals in the rehabilitation process can begin to connect to their spirituality, rediscover new passions and build self-esteem.
Meditation allows the individual to tap into emotions that recovering addicts may not have been able to deal with before they began the recovery process. Often times in the early stages of recovery many individuals have to deal with intense feelings of anger and frustration. Through meditation the individual can learn to prevent these feelings from building up and also develop new ways to cope with these emotions.
There are many different ways that one can meditate. In addiction treatment one of the more popular forms of meditation is the Vipassana style. Vipassana most literally means to envision things as they really are.
In the Vipassana style of meditation the individual does not ignore any thought related to their addiction. Instead when these thoughts, cravings, or feelings of using come to mind, the individual is taught to accept the presence of these thoughts but to refocus their energy and intentions into another state of mind that appeals to the individual. This form of meditation has been found to be useful to recovering addicts because it acknowledges the reality of the addictive thought process.
Just like our bodies need exercise to stay in good healthy shape, meditation acts as a tool to help keep our minds in shape. Meditation allows recovering individuals to relax and experience a state increased awareness and tranquility. If one form of meditation does not work the individual should not feel discouraged but instead try another one.