Meditation and Recovery – During those years when we were drinking and/or using our minds become accustomed to dealing with both the outside world and our own inner world through a haze of chemical fog. We lose touch with how to feel and how to think. As we remove those chemical impairments we may find the rush of real life around us and the flood of inner thoughts and feelings to be overwhelming. This complex of emotion and confusion can be dangerous for our recovery. We need to learn new ways of processing the world around us. We need to find new ways to understand our own feelings. Working the steps, attending meetings and working with a sponsor will go a long way toward this transitional period. But there are a number of practices we can work with which will help us through this phase of recovery. Meditation has been proven to be an invaluable tool for drug and alcohol recovery.
Meditation comes in a number of forms but the overall goal of all meditation techniques is to focus on the mind-body connection and induce relaxation and relief form anxiety and other forms of destructive thinking. Guided meditation, which is actually part of many addiction recovery programs, involves slowing down our thoughts, learning focus on an abstract center rather than a specific source of trouble, and relaxation techniques. Meditation often involved learning to control breathing is specific ways and in this way thoughts and physical practices become wedded and the mind-body connection becomes central to the practice.
Meditation in all of its forms has been shown to decrease blood pressure even in those with hypertension and enhance the immune system. The benefits of meditation for anxiety management have also been shown to also assist in the management of depression. Anxiety and depression are major issues for people in recovery. We tend to come into recovery with a baseline of disruption in our lives and this inevitably leads to some measure of anxiety and depression. For some, clinical depression is one of the primary reasons they came to have difficulties with drugs and alcohol. The relaxation and stress management techniques learned in a guided meditation can help ease these severe forms of depression without the help of medication. Of course, anyone prescribed medication for clinical depression should work closely with a physician as they learn to regulate their stress, anxiety, and depression with meditation.
Meditation and Recovery – Drug and alcohol treatment programs will generally combine meditation with other forms of therapy during treatment. Group and individual counseling often complement meditation techniques so that individuals can focus on specific emotional needs as they learn to practice meditation. Counseling will help people to get in touch with those aspects of their lives which they have difficulty managing. Family strife, work conflicts, and interpersonal stress are revealed to the extent that a recovery addict feels challenged in these areas and specific forms of meditation will allow them to work through these difficulties in a program of relaxed and therapeutic meditation.
Meditation and Recovery – Certainly, the standard methods of therapy, counseling, group work and even medical intervention are necessary for most people to recovery from addiction. But meditation is gaining traction as one more tool in the system of treatment which helps people who have been debilitated by drugs and alcohol to find ways of managing their lives in the absence of substances.
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