There are many parts of a person’s life that changes when they become sober. Although it’s true that they might only become sober and never work on changing who they are on the inside, for the most part, sobriety requires transformation of who one is. Meditation is a practice that can facilitate this change. It can also be used to help reduce stress and create resilience for those moments in recovery that are challenging.
Essentially, meditation is the practice of keeping your mind focused on one point. There are many forms of meditation. However, the type of meditation that has proven to be effective is mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness is the ability for a person to be present to the experiences that are going around within and around them. However, because the mind often has a hard time with resting in the present moment, giving the mind an anchor, such as the breath to follow, or a set of words to repeat in the mind, can help a person stay present.
There are many incredible benefits to meditation. The most significant one is the development of awareness. As someone develops more and more awareness, he or she has greater ability to recognize negative patterns, thoughts, and beliefs, and as a result, has a the ability to make changes in life. Essentially, the underlying principle that guides meditation is that the more self-aware one becomes, the more successful he or she can become in achieving and maintaining relief and recovery. This is true for any form of recovery, such as from mental illness or from addiction. By becoming more and more aware, one has the ability to make choices that are healthier and more life-affirming.
Another benefit of meditation is that it helps to slow down the pace of the mind. When the mind moves very quickly, attention can jump from one thought to another and there is often very little space between a thought and a choice to behave. For instance, with addiction, a person might feel a difficult emotion and then suddenly reach for a glass of alcohol. However, with meditation the pace of the mind begins to slow down, and with that, there is more space between an event and how a person chooses to respond. This can be incredibly beneficial if, for instance, someone responded with anger every time he or she perceived that they were being betrayed. With meditation, a person has more of an ability to respond more slowly to life and choose they way they want to behave. There is less automatic and conditioned responses to life. Instead, there is a more conscious experience of life.
In addition to these significant benefits, there are also health benefits to meditation, which can also help to ease a person’s recovery. Meditation can reduce stress, boost the immune system, improves the quality of one’s sleep, slows respiration for longer and deeper breaths, enhances athletic performance, and foster overall well being. Meditation can also increase creativity and intuition.
If you are in recovery from addiction and you’re interested in meditation for recovery, contact your local yoga studio. Or do an online search for meditation classes in your neighborhood. Meditation might feel challenging at first, but once you’ve been at it for a few weeks, the benefits may keep you going for a lifetime.
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