Can Mindfulness Help With Addiction Recovery?

Here, we are looking for ways to help each individual take specific actions and make changes to their substance use. Leaning on models like cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, or behavioral activation can be helpful. Aside from using some major types of mindfulness exercises for addiction recovery with the goal of achieving specific emotional and physical results, there are other important tips meditation for addiction and tricks involved with meditation in addiction recovery. A meditation exercise can only achieve the proper results if the person meditating learns to do it properly, and there are plenty of nuances that might surprise you if it’s a therapy style you’re only just learning to use. In pharmacological research, it is imperative to examine dose–response relationships to identify the optimal therapeutic dose.

Being able to calm down and think, respecting yourself and others, and setting healthy habits are all a part of long-term addiction recovery. Meditation is an incredible tool for anyone, whether they’re in recovery or not. While its benefits are undeniable, trying to use meditation alone to overcome drug and alcohol addiction likely isn’t enough. You might make some forward progress, but eliminating substances and overcoming addictive behaviors typically takes a more well-rounded, comprehensive approach.

Movement Meditation

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Meditation apps can help you learn more about meditation and practice specific techniques for different situations, such as dealing with anxiety or stress during your addiction recovery journey. Some of these apps even offer guided meditations that will help you focus on your breathing and the present moment by following an audio track. Individuals who are recovering from addiction may experience increased stress and anxiety due to the changes in their lifestyle and the challenges of sobriety. Meditation can help o quiet the mind and create space to focus on the present moment. This can be especially helpful in managing triggers and cravings. Individuals who practice meditation gain insights into themselves that help them make decisions that support their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Reflection Meditation: Reflect on Your Experiences

Often, a meditation instructor selects a mantra to allow you to achieve mindfulness and spiritual experience. In focused meditation, participants choose one of the five senses as the center point of meditation. For example, you may focus on the sound of a bell or the sight of a fire burning in the fireplace. Your mind may drift, but it is important to bring your focus back to which sense you’ve chosen to perceive. This type of meditation requires a person to examine thoughts, feelings, and experiences without labeling them as “good or bad” or “right or wrong.” The person allows sensations and thoughts to pass without judging them as they breathe deeply and rhythmically. I think the single biggest missed opportunity by far to turn the tide of addiction rests with the criminal justice system.

meditation for addiction recovery

Mindfulness practice can enhance the performance of the frontal cortex, the area of the brain that regulates planning and thinking. Meditation also impacts the amygdala, which reduces fear, and increases the activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, governing motivation and motor control. As people gain experience in recovery they still face the stresses of everyday life. People in early recovery typically experience mood swings, described by some as an emotional rollercoaster. By training the mind to focus on one thing—a sound, word, or breath—at a time, meditation helps recovering addicts maintain a degree of emotional balance.

Here’s one treatment to help prevent relapse.

During this exercise, a comparison is made between the urge to swallow the chocolate and craving for addictive substances. Participants are then guided to adopt a metacognitive stance toward their experience and deconstruct the craving into its constituent sensory, affective, and cognitive components, noticing how the craving subsides over time. Through this technique, clients learn to consciously and adaptively respond to the urge to use substances rather than automatically reacting to appetitive cues in maladaptive ways.

meditation for addiction recovery

A calm nervous system enhances the overall quality of sleep, and during times of wakefulness, it enables better moods. Furthermore, those suffering emotionally imbalanced thoughts from disorders like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can learn to observe thoughts without attachment. Meditation therapy also allows someone to actively regain control over impulses. For example, transcendental meditation has been used to reduce drug, alcohol, and Nicotine abuse and the risk of relapse. Twenty-eight of the reports presented the first published findings from the related study and six reports presented results of secondary analyses.

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