Meditation has many benefits for dealing with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, as well as for helping us in our addiction recovery. One of the greatest misconceptions about meditation is that its primary aim is to empty the mind of all thoughts, and while this is possible, trying to attain this can scare beginning meditators away. We can instead make our goal with our meditation practice to find ways to calm ourselves down, bring ourselves more peace, and navigate our thoughts and emotions with more clarity and ease. Being able to do these things changes us from the inside out, and totally transforms our addictions in the process.
When we practice meditation, we can more easily slow our breathing and therefore our racing thoughts. We can ease up on over worrying, and stop ourselves from reacting prematurely. We learn how to calm ourselves down from heightened panic and anger responses. This can make a huge difference in how we experience our addictions. We find that meditation helps us to react less strongly to our addictive urges, to be able to move through them without acting on them compulsively. We have more control over our thoughts and feelings, and therefore our responses and behaviors. We might be less triggered by the things that used to drive us to want to use. We might feel less anxiety and anger, both of which might have compounded our addictive behaviors.
Meditation is one of the most powerful tools we have to develop increased mindfulness. The more we have awareness and deeper consciousness about ourselves and our lives, the more we can navigate the challenges that come with living with addiction. One example is how mindfulness can broaden our perspective and help us act with greater intention. Mindfulness helps us focus not just on the small details of the moment but also the bigger picture. With meditation, we become more connected to our intuition, the voice of our inner self. With addictive urges, for example, we can use mindfulness to acknowledge how we’re feeling in this moment – scared, anxious, lonely, angry – and also to work through how we will feel if we go back on our goals of sobriety. Mindfulness helps us to see the big picture – the regret, disappointment and remorse we’ll feel if we relapse. Meditation helps us to navigate these difficult moments, so that we can come out on the other side with a stronger connection to ourselves.
We include meditation as part of our holistic treatment programs. Call (575) 613-4810 for more information.