How can Mediation help me in Recovery?
There is much information on the advantages of meditation for our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. For those suffering from the disease of addiction, this simple and accessible tool can lead to revolutionary changes in our overall outlook on life. The multitude of benefits include and are not limited to:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Decreased depression
- Improved attention and focus
- Better self-control
- General improvements in mental and emotional wellbeing
Meditation and Cravings
Believed to have originated in India, the roots of this ancient practice have been utilised for centuries. Interestingly, its benefits seem more applicable than ever in our fast-paced and high-stress modern world. It’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed by our thoughts, and for those in early recovery, this can mean we have little space between a thought and acting upon it. Cravings in the early stages of addiction recovery are expected. Meditation can help train our brain to notice the craving, and instead of acting on it, become aware of the feeling and allow it to pass. In early recovery, mediation offers an opportunity to detach from our thoughts, taking a step back and simply observing them rather than acting on them.
We Are Not Our Thoughts
Meditation offers a reprieve from the chaos our minds have the propensity to create; it generates awareness of our thinking. Once aware it the judgment of our thoughts that lead to anxiety and stress, rather than the thoughts themselves, we can slowly learn to detach from them, unlocking a mental calmness. This new mindset can help alleviate repetitive thought processes and negative thinking and even has flow-on effects in other areas of our lives. ‘Stinking thinking’ can be a trigger point for individuals in early recovery, and the ability to resist fusing with our thoughts is incredibly advantageous.
Cultivating a sense of inner peace allows us to glide more quickly through our daily life and can help alleviate our natural tendency to dwell on negative emotions. Meditation aims not to push aside stress or bypass negative thinking but to notice those thoughts and feelings while understanding that you don’t have to act on them. It can be as simple as closing your eyes and repeating a single word. Phrase or simply by counting breaths. Remember that although your thoughts may affect you, they are not you.
Pain is Inevitable – Suffering is Optional
The suffering caused by our daily thinking patterns can be helped by daily meditation practice. Life is still going to happen. We will be met with obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes pain that may seem hard to bear. A mediation practice gives us a choice: we can choose to dwell,m or choose to recognise, accept and move through.
Having better control over our minds and the ability to shift our outlook makes this practice a go-to for many, and the best thing? It’s free and can be done from just about anywhere.
At Transitions Bali, we encourage our clients to develop a daily meditation practice, arming themselves with the tools to prepare for life on the outside and potentially stressful situations they may encounter. For example, taking a few moments before an important appointment or social situation can help shift the brain and body from the stress response into a relative calm state.