Fight Addiction Through Meditation

Posted by on 5/27/2017 to Sober Blogger

Fight Addiction Through Meditation

Fight Addiction Through Meditation

Meditation is about finding your center and achieving inner peace, and this is perfect when trying to fight addiction. Read on to learn more about meditation.

Keyword(s): fight addiction

The claws of addiction dig deep.

No matter what your drug of choice is, your brain has undergone changes due to substance use and abuse.

As a result, you try to fight addiction only to come full circle to the same point (or worse) you were in before.

But if only abstaining was enough to set yourself on the path to healing. If that were the case, treatment centers would be empty and meetings would become unnecessary.

To fight addiction requires constant vigilance. While the recovery process does get easier with time, the threat of relapse continues to linger throughout one's life if precautions aren't taken.

In this post, we'll discuss how you can fight addiction through the practice of meditation and how it can help you on your continued journey to a sustained recovery.

Fight Addiction With Meditation

Meditation has been found in various forms throughout history for thousands of years.

It has been scientifically proven to help reduce stress, improve health, and even bolster mental health (as well as a suite of other benefits).

Every treatment plan varies, whether it includes counseling, support groups, or medication. Even proper diet and exercise can prove highly effective.

But the importance of alternative medicine practices such as meditation is sometimes overlooked or dismissed.

Meditation is the practice of quieting the mind by means of focusing on a specific thought, idea, or sensation. The choice of what is focused on is generally referred to as "intent."

There is no right way to meditate, but it typically performed in quiet solitude.

To fight addiction is to not give into the triggers that can lead to risky behaviors.

By practicing meditation, one can train themselves to accept the moment for what it is without reacting emotionally. 

Addiction is often not a disorder which exists by itself. There are varying but underlying causes which feed the addictive brain's need to escape to elsewhere.

Meditation helps turn one's energy inward to evaluate and ultimately accept thoughts for what they are.

It might take a person to an uncomfortable space at first, but with practice, these negative thoughts will dissipate as personal attitudes begin to change.

The goal of meditation isn't to rid oneself of these negative emotions and experiences. Rather, the goal is to change one's attitude about the negative thoughts and emotions which once plagued them.

When a person begins to observe themselves in an impartial and loving manner, the negative feelings that once meant disaster will now become just another part of the ongoing healing process.

Create New Neural Networks

Just as the passing of time from the date of last use allows your brain to recover and rewire itself, meditation leads to the formation of new neural networks.

To fight addiction means to break the bonds of old habits and impulses.

Practicing meditation provides an excellent way to change the trenches of thought that comes with addiction.

Addiction preys on the pleasure center of the brain. This area of the brain is old and relatively simple compared to other areas.

By practicing meditation, one can change these circuits and give them less prominence over other, higher functioning, brain circuits. 

On that note, meditation is a form of learning. The practice teaches you, and your brain, how to break away from the thoughts which were present while using.

Devoting attention and energy toward actively changing these old ways of thinking is crucial to maintaining sobriety.

Reduce Stress

Treatment plans to fight addiction will usually call for a balanced diet and regular exercise.

These activities have been proven to reduce levels of the stress hormone called cortisol.

Interestingly, meditation also helps reduce stress levels. 

The result of lowered levels of stress is immeasurable when it comes to healing.

Experiencing less stress makes a person less likely to revert to their old ways of thinking and their old habits.

Feelings of anxiety and worry will dissipate with time and practice.

Healing Through Meditation

Meditation isn't just an effective way to reduce stress levels, it can even boost immune system functioning.

The mind and body are connected and become disconnected with substance abuse.

Meditation allows for the body and mind to reconnect with one another, and as a result, your immune system benefits.

The immune system is dynamic. As such, it has been shown to respond to thoughts and emotions. 

In fact, meditation boosts the production of antibodies. Meditation also stimulates the areas of the brain which act as the command center for the immune system.

In the ongoing process of recovery, ridding your body of any unwanted toxins is important. Due to this, meditation is an effective tool to fight addiction, as well as maintaining good health, both physical and mental.

Meditation Techniques

There's no right way to practice meditation as a means to fight addiction and reduce cravings

It can be as simple as sitting in a quiet room and focusing on one's breathing patterns.

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. In this time many different forms and practices have been developed.

Not every method is right for every person, so take the time to explore the different techniques.

Listed below are common forms of meditation:

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is one of the most common forms.

This simple method involves sitting quietly in an upright position with a straight spine.

With closed eyes, bring your attention to your breathing. Notice the sensation of your breath passing through your nostrils or the rising and falling of your chest.

Focus on breathing and if the mind begins to wander, recenter focus on breathing.

Yoga

Yoga is an ancient tradition that combines breath control, meditation, and varying body postures.

It is widely practiced for improved health and relaxation, and can also be used to fight addiction.

If interested, consider consulting a local studio and teacher to ensure proper practice.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi translates to "meditation in motion."

It incorporates many of the same elements as mindfulness meditation and yoga, but the body positions are moving and fluid.

Interestingly, Tai Chi has even been found to help alleviate symptoms of depression.

Celebrate Your Recovery

The fight is never over, but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate your achievements (in healthy ways, of course).

Your sobriety saved your life, so why not remind yourself or a loved one with an AA Token or Coin?

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