In 2011, there were over 20 million people who suffered from addiction. Of those 20 million, only 3 million people received proper treatment to overcome their addictive behaviors, that’s 15%. There is no doubt that that number has increased or at least stayed the same. It can be hard for someone to come to terms with the fact that they may suffer from addiction. Having an addiction is not something one can easily admit to, many people feel a great sense of shame when they realize they have one. Because of this, people are afraid to go seek treatment or look for ways to overcome their addictive Substance abuse is a complex issue and it can be difficult to solve by yourself.
Since addiction is such a difficult thing to beat on your own, treatment centers have opened up to offer services and treatments for those who are wanting to live a sober life. After admitting to an addiction, a person must go through several stages in the recovery process: medical detox, support groups, cognitive behavioral therapy, and counseling.
These treatments/groups that are provided in rehabilitation centers are used to help a person beat the initial stages of withdrawal, address why they suffer from addiction, and help them beat any sort of cravings for the addictive substance. There are many different treatment methods that help different people. What may work for one person in recovery may not work for the other. Since this has been discovered, different forms of cognitive behavioral therapy have been used in addiction recovery. One of the most notable ones is meditation. This form of therapy has gone to show some incredible benefits for those who are trying to live a sober life.
In this blog, we will discuss what meditation therapy is, why it’s used in addiction recovery, and how it can help a former addict beat their addictive behaviors.
What is Meditation?
For centuries, meditation has been used as a form of therapy. Our ancestors practiced this ancient technique for relaxation and mindfulness, it by no means a new concept. Meditation can be simply defined as “a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.” This sort of practice can serve as a way to become more connected to one’s mind, body, and soul.
Meditation can be practiced in many different ways since there are several different forms of it, but each one is focused on realigning the mind, body, and soul in order to achieve peace and relaxation. It also focuses on personal reflection/examination. This is how patients can better analyze their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and emotions so they can overcome anything that holds them back from their recovery.
So the question now is, how can meditation during addiction recovery help someone achieve sobriety? Here are 3 reasons as to why meditation is so successful for those seeking to live a sober life.
1. Clears The Mind
If someone has suffered from addiction, there’s a good chance that their mind has been clouded both literally and figuratively. If a person suffers from any substance abuse, the chemical function in their brain can be severely altered. Their mind will become dependent on the substance as a sort of chemical refuge. In order to feel any sense of normalcy, the brain needs that “high” from the substance; it’s become dependent on it. Your mind starts to tell you what to do when it comes to substance abuse. If a person starts off their journey into recovery, they will undoubtedly experience withdrawal. This is when the mind and body fight against you in a last ditch effort to get the substance again. Temptations are strong, and sometimes unbearable, in this stage. Meditation’s purpose is to fight against this.
Meditation focuses on silence and breathing which can help someone clear their head of any desires/worries they’re having. This sort of practice can help a person slowly, but surely, get back on track with their true priorities in life, which is not substance abuse. Meditation is the lighthouse in the foggy mind of an addict; it acts as a beacon to guide them back to safety and away from the harsh waters they’ve been sailing through.
2. Connect With Oneself Again
One huge problem many people with a substance abuse problem face is not being themselves. When a person falls into a pit of addiction, they will more than likely let it overtake them. This can result in a loss of self and becoming a totally different person. Many addicts become overtaken by their dependency on the substance and get fully consumed by it. Sometimes, all they can think about is when they get their next “fix” since they become so consumed by the substance abuse lifestyle.
Thankfully, meditation can fight against this. As we discussed earlier, meditation can help you clear up your clouded mind. Meditation is an individual exercise that focuses on a self-directed exploration of oneself. It can help an addict see why they think they need the substance, how life can be without it, and who they were before their addiction. Once these things are realized, the person can better fight against their desires to give into substance abuse.
3. Physical Benefits
Not only does meditation have a ton of mental benefits, it also has some physical ones. Meditation can improve your overall health with things like heart rate and energy levels. These things can help boost productivity and positivity in life in a natural way. Meditation can also help you relax through the practice of breathing and focusing. This can help reduce tension and stress from withdrawal, which are huge causes for relapse. Meditation can produce a sense of euphoria for people that practice it. This sense of euphoria can be compared to the euphoric feeling you get from drug abuse. Though it is not quite the same, it is a more healthy and natural means of achieving a sense of euphoria.
Meditation can bring about substantial mental and physical relief for those who are going through the recovery process. In the early stages of recovery, people can go through some serious mental and physical pain. Meditation can be used to fight against this and bring about a new sense of peace to them.
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