Meditation has been integral to many different cultures and religions for thousands of years. Today many people practice it without religious beliefs to benefit the body and mind. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, meditation refers to activities that focus on the mind and body and help promote calmness.
Daily meditation recovery exercises can help people achieve physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional well-being. The recovery process is a slow journey, and patients always face relapse triggers. Therefore, a comprehensive treatment program must equip patients with the tools to overcome them.
This post discusses the five types of meditation for recovery and their benefits.
Benefits of Meditation for Addiction Recovery
Whether patients are in early treatment or have been sober for a long time, relapse is always a possibility. Meditation is a powerful holistic tool that patients can use to cope with triggers and promote calmness. Using evidence-based medical treatment can lead to self-awareness and equip them with power over addiction.
Other benefits of meditation for recovery include:
- Recovery at any stage is stressful. Unless adequately managed, failure to cope with stress will lead one to relapse. Besides ensuring one sets aside time to relax, meditation helps one to react positively to stress.
- Drug and alcohol abuse damages the body in some cases for years. Meditation helps the body in the healing process. It boosts heart health, lowers blood pressure, and improves the body’s immune system.
- Anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders often underlie addiction. Although study results vary, there is evidence supporting mindfulness meditation improving mood disorders’ symptoms.
- People who suffer from chronic pain may abuse their medication and fall into addiction. Since they can no longer use opioids to manage the pain, meditation helps them reduce the intensity of the pain.
- Sleep disorders can be challenging to cope with as the body adjusts to life without substances. Meditation sessions help some people to experience a better quality of sleep.
In addition, mental exercise helps in dealing with prolonged withdrawal symptoms, according to the SAMHSA. Meditation is an excellent workout for the mind.
Elements of Recovery Meditation
Although different types of meditation exist, all of them share three standard components.
Being non-judgemental towards others and oneself is key to having effective meditation. Also, one can have compassion for others and themselves.
By relaxing their conscious mind, people can reduce stress and focus more. In this state, they can pull insights and thoughts from the subconscious to the present.
Being in the present and now means detaching oneself from the past and future. As a result, one can connect with their body and the physical sensations they may feel as they appreciate the now.
5 Meditations Used in Recovery Programs
Meditation involves more than just sitting cross-legged on a cushion. The following are different forms of meditation for sobriety.
Often it is done from a sitting position in a comfortable place. As the person breathes, they should focus on each inhale and exhale to tame their wandering mind. Ensure to do it deeply and slowly to receive the most benefits.
Humans use only a fraction of the diaphragm, causing an imbalance between the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange. This inequality triggers a stress response. Deep breathing corrects the imbalance and leads to reduced heartbeat, blood pressure, and stress. In addition, to the physical benefit, people also experience a calm mind and inner peace.
The purpose of mindfulness meditation is to observe one’s thoughts without engagement or judgment. All their attention should focus on the here and now. Let one’s thoughts flow freely. As a result, people become aware of the sensations and feelings they are experiencing.
With enough practice, people learn to rid themself of negativity and slow their racing minds. The result is a calm mind and body. Mindful meditation is perfect for those who wish to practice alone. People who want to practice can do it in a quiet place or listen to some relaxing music.
Movement meditation may benefit those in early recovery who find it challenging to sit still. It involves finding peace and calm in movement or action.
Find an activity that is enjoyable, such as walking, yoga, tai chi, or qigong, and focus on the movements. One can do it outside in nature, like at the park, lake, forest, or backyard. Or indoors in a quiet place without disturbances.
Mantra meditation is easier for those who find it hard to focus on breathing or nature. A common mantra is the well-known ‘Om,’ but one can focus on a sound of their choice, phrase, or word. The mantra can be voiced out or said internally to oneself.
Continuously repeating the mantra allows one to clear their mind, relax and become more aware of their surroundings. For the meditation to be effective, the person should choose a mantra or sound they are comfortable with.
In guided meditation, a facilitator takes a participant through a visualization exercise. They walk the person through scenarios, and they get to feel varying states using their imagination. This type of meditation is great for beginners who have difficulty focusing on breathing or mantras.
Guided meditation allows one to explore their inner feelings and bring them to the forefront for healing. It is best to do it when seated comfortably after taking relaxing deep breaths.
Meditation Practice for the LGBTQ+
During group or guided meditations, an individual from a marginalized community, like the LGBTQ+, may instinctively feel more relaxed and at peace if they know their guide is also a member of their community.
Furthermore, practicing mindfulness, especially with other people who are LGBTQ+, can help people fully grasp the pain that stems from marginalization, prejudice, and general oppression.
Get Treatments With Meditation From No Matter What Recovery
A comprehensive recovery plan does not just treat the substance abuse disorder but the whole person. Unless the root causes of the addiction, like underlying mental health issues, are dealt with, lifelong recovery may not be possible. Therefore ensuring patients have the tools they need to lead a more satisfying life should come first.
At No Matter What Recovery center, we offer holistic therapies, including meditation, acupuncture, and reiki, alongside medical addiction treatment.