Meditation is a simple yet powerful technique boasting many health benefits, but is meditation for recovery worthwhile?
It certainly is, and meditation is becoming more readily available as a form of therapy, not only in general wellness circles but also for treating alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder.
Meditation is proven to help reduce:
Meditation has a single overarching goal: to help you to synchronize your body and mind to enhance your overall wellbeing and quality of life. When applied to those in recovery as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, and aftercare program including a sober living community, meditation can help improve your sense of connection, as well as your awareness. If you are interested in learning more about how meditation can help you and want to get in contact with an addiction treatment facility, give The District Recovery a call today.
Although there are different types of meditation, you will typically chant a mantra while taking deep breaths and concentrating fully upon nothing but breathing.
Guided Meditation for Addiction Recovery
There are many reasons people turn to meditation during the recovery process.
With guided meditation, you’ll work with an instructor or someone who guides the experience. Guided meditation typically involves imagery and affirmations to accompany the storytelling aspect.
The goal of guided meditation is to explore an imagined scene. This could be a secluded cove on a beach, for instance, or a lush green field. You’ll then provide the rest of the imagery from within, allowing you to shift your focus.
Perhaps the core benefit of guided meditation for recovery is the mindfulness component. Beyond this, meditation can help you to better understand your personal triggers for substance abuse, and you’ll also learn to develop relapse prevention plans using the power of meditation.
Used in addiction therapy for many years, meditation works best when woven in alongside traditional evidence-based therapies.
Benefits of Meditation for Substance Abuse
Some of the benefits of meditation include:
- Significantly reduced stress
- Reduced depression
- Lower levels of anxiety and social anxiety
- Improved mood
- Increased concentration
- Reduced PTSD symptoms
- Improvement in ADHD symptoms
- Reduced brain activity
- Emotional stability
- Decreased insomnia
- Reduced PAWS (post-acute withdrawal symptoms)
- Less chance of relapse
Meditation can also help to alter brainwaves, leading to improved overall psychological function, as well as a reduction in cortisol (the stress hormone).
Mindfulness can also help improve performance in the brain’s frontal cortex, the area responsible for thinking and planning.
Beyond this, meditation impacts the amygdala, an area of the brain associated with fear.
With its many proven benefits, meditation can be used to combat the withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and triggers associated with substance abuse. To reiterate, meditation needs to be supplemented by other evidence-based treatments for best results.
Drug Recovery and Meditation
Meditation can be beneficial in the following areas of drug addiction recovery:
- Boosts mental wellbeing
- Reduces stress
- Helps improve sleep patterns
- Aids physical health
- Pain management
Boosts Mental Wellbeing
Meditation can positively impact your overall mental health, according to some research.
Harnessing this powerful technique can also deliver moderate improvements to some mood disorders and anxiety symptoms. This means meditation could be invaluable if you have a co-occurring substance use disorder and mental health disorder, also known as a dual diagnosis.
All stages of the recovery process can be stressful, and using meditation is one way you can reclaim some time to stop and relax, and you can achieve this without using substances.
There is some research indicating meditation can also help you become less reactive to stress, and also more able to recover from stress efficiently.
Helps Improve Sleep Patterns
Many people in the early stages of addiction recovery find their sleep patterns are disrupted. This is natural as your body is struggling to adjust to the absence of the substance you were abusing.
Meditation could help you to feel less fatigued, and it could also help to reduce insomnia.
Improve Physical Health
Some people also report feeling physical benefits from meditation, including lower blood pressure levels, a strengthened immune system, and improved heart health, according to some studies.
If your body is recovering from the damage inflicted by years of substance abuse, mediation as part of your recovery plan could play an instrumental role in healing some of that damage.
Often, people struggling with chronic pain will misuse or abuse their medications, typically prescription opioid painkillers. This can lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction.
Meditation can be a powerful alternative method of pain relief with proven benefits for reducing the severity of pain.
Meditation for Alcohol Recovery
Research shows that meditation could be a useful adjunct therapy for preventing relapse in alcohol-dependent individuals.
With meditation, the goal is to detach yourself from the outside world in order to achieve inner peace. If you are abusing substances, meditation can help you to separate yourself as a person from your desire to consume substances. By viewing your habits more objectively, you might develop more self-awareness and peace, both of which are beneficial during all stages of recovery.
With mindfulness meditation, you’ll focus on your urge to drink as if it were a wave consuming your whole body. Instead of fearing or shaming these cravings, you’ll learn to simply experience them as a natural and expected occurrence, and you’ll be better placed to surf this emotional wave without taking a tumble.
Meditation at The District Recovery Community
Here at The District Recovery Community, we specialize in outpatient treatment for both alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder.
Our personalized programs use evidence-based MAT (medication-assisted treatment) and psychotherapies like CBT and DBT. This integrated delivery of treatment gives you the most chance of sustained recovery without relapse.
As well as these proven treatments, we also offer you access to a wide range of holistic therapies here at TDRC, including meditation.
Crucially, we also make sure to treat any co-occurring mental health disorders simultaneously, giving you a firm foundation for ongoing sobriety and sound mental health.
To get started on meditation for recovery, just reach out to District at 844.287.8506.