Chill out and recover

Chill out and Recover

Years ago, mentioning the word meditation would conjure up images of people sitting in a shrine, legs crossed, eyes closed, etc.  Today, we know that there is so much more to it.  Further, we know that meditation for those battling drug and alcohol addiction is a very effective tool. 

Meditation is a practice that goes back thousands of years.  Often used to enhance spiritual connection and enlightenment, the practice essentially involves quieting the mind and concentrating on a specific thought or idea. Meditation is usually done in a quiet place.  While many who practice it do it alone, it can also be done in a group setting.

There are two advantages of meditation in recovery.  It is easy to learn, and it can be done anywhere.

It’s easy to learn

Many treatment centers will teach their clients the basic tenets of mindfulness meditation and how to quiet their mind.  Others learn it through a wellness center or a religious center.  There are a bevy of how-to guides and websites on meditating.

It can be done anywhere.

This is one of the most valuable aspects of using meditation for addiction recovery. Since stress is one of the primary triggers for relapse, meditative techniques are particularly beneficial because they can be done whenever and wherever stress is felt. Meditation can be used to lower the body’s acute response to stress at home or in the workplace, so recovering addicts are less likely to feel the tension and strain tempt them to drink or use.

Meditation may also reduce the cravings that can trigger a relapse. For instance, a recovering alcoholic can meditate when she finds herself in the parking lot outside a bar. Calming the mind for a few minutes may provide the distance needed to make a reasonable and healthy decision about whether to step into that bar or find the nearest SMART meeting.

If you’re recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction, meditation may be an excellent supplement to your treatment program. Talk to your addiction counselor about incorporating it into your contact a rehab center that offers it as part of the program. You could also look into meditation learning sessions offered by a local wellness center or learn it on your own through books and videos.