How Does Mindfulness Help In Addiction Recovery
The brain is the only organ that can be trained through learning. During addiction, the brain is trained to work against us. However, mindfulness can reverse the damage to the brain.
Over time, mindfulness can rebuild neural pathways. Furthermore, combining mindfulness and meditation can increase the thickness of the brains cortex. This improves cognitive function, attention, and sensory processing.
Practicing mindfulness in recovery can also increase brain connections, emotional regulation, and self-awareness. At the same time, mindfulness and meditation for addiction recovery can positively affect thoughts, feelings, and responses to the world around you.
Guided Meditation In Rehab & Treatment Centers
Addiction treatment centers across the nation have recognized the importance of bringing meditation into the rehabilitation process. Addiction counselors using meditation in rehabs are few in number, but are in high demand.
Food, sex, gaming, and drug addiction counseling techniques can all be made drastically more effective by integrating guided meditation to combat the psychological inertia that undergirds addictive behavior. Addiction counselors with professional meditation teacher training will not only have a leg up on addiction but also their competition.
How Can Moving Meditation Benefit Addiction Recovery
Moving meditation is a shift of consciousness or meditative state while doing simple movements. This type of meditation can calm the mind and create awareness. While meditation is often associated with lying or sitting while focusing on your breath, moving can also help with contemplation.
Some people struggle to sit still, especially in early recovery. For this reason, moving meditation can be helpful. Besides yoga, types of moving meditations include:
Walking in nature is an excellent way to clear the mind, especially for those who find peace in action.
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Include Meditation In Everyday Rehab Routines
Mindfulness can have incredible benefits to a person in recovery, but only if the person is diligent about including mindfulness practice in daily routines. When seeking rehab facilities in Fresno, California, be sure to look into the possibility of including meditation and mindfulness practice alongside daily therapy routines. Working in conjunction with individual and group therapies, mindfulness can be worked into the recovery process and aid the person experiencing substance use disorder from relapsing after they leave the rehab facility.
Clinical Application Of Mindfulness Intervention Mechanisms For Substance Use Disorder And Relapse Prevention
First-generation MBIs influenced the development of contemporary MBIs for addiction . Following MBSR, most modern MBIs for addiction are structured as 8-week, group therapy programs, with a format consisting of guided mindfulness practice and debriefing/group process, didactic material, and homework assignments to practice mindfulness skills in the context of everyday life as a means of coping with stress, negative affect, and substance use impulses. Extant MBIs designed specifically to intervene in SUD and relapse prevention differ somewhat from first-generation MBIs in their emphasis, didactic content delivered, duration of home mindfulness practice, and style of debriefing. Modern MBIs for addiction typically provide standard focused attention and open monitoring meditations, as well as mindfulness exercises specifically tailored to address substance craving and substance use habits. Below, we discuss general clinical principles for using MBIs to intervene in SUD and prevent relapse.
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Controlling Your Thoughts In Guided Meditation
If any thoughts pass through your mind during guided meditation, thats okay. Just acknowledge them and let them pass. You can visualize this as if youre sitting on a riverbank, and as the thoughts come into your mind, they gently flow down the stream. You are the observer as you watch thoughts pass, always knowing that this peaceful state is with you.
Now imagine that you are in a place of your own creation, a beautiful place. It can be real, or it can be imagined. You create it. It can be in the forest, on a beach, in the mountains, wherever, but imagine this placethis place where theres complete calm, where you feel at peace, and nothing can hurt you. You start to relax and let go, knowing that this is your place, youve created it, and you can come here anytime you wish.
Continue to inhale and exhale, slowly look around in this special place. What do you see? Are there trees and water? Youre the creator, visualize and take it all in now. What do you hear? Are their sounds that surround you that bring you more relaxation and calm? Just listen, taking it all in, as youre in your special place. What do you feel? The breeze caressing your skin, feel the earth, the warmth. Just allow yourself to feel and stay in this place, know that you are fully loved and cared for, have peace, and feel relaxed.
In this space, take a few moments and merely listen, knowing that wisdom resides in peace.
Use Of Meditation In Drug Rehabilitation Programs
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. Carlson, B. E., & Larkin, H. . Meditation as a Coping Intervention for Treatment of Addiction. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought,28, 379-392. doi:10.1080/15426430903263260
. Zgierska, A., Rabago, D., Zuelsdorff, M., Coe, C., Miller, M., & Fleming, M. . Mindfulness Meditation for Alcohol Relapse Prevention: A Feasibility Pilot Study. Journal of Addiction Medicine,2, 165-173. doi:10.1097/adm.0b013e31816f8546
. Khanna, S., & Greeson, J. M. . A narrative review of yoga and mindfulness as complementary therapies for addiction. Complementary Therapies in Medicine,21, 244-252. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2013.01.008
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Meditation In Addiction Recovery
Our counselors and therapists will guide clients through the stages of meditation. We do this in both individual or one-on-one sessions and group therapy. In both instances, the process is similar. First, the focus is on an individuals breath. Breathing with your awareness on your breath, ask clients to count backward from 5 to 1 slowly.
We guide individuals as they go backward mentally, repeat and visualize each number three times to themselves. This will enhance your ability to visualize, so take your time and let your mind be as creative as it likes. Remember, there is no right or wrong way, so lets begin. The countdown is as follows:
While in this process, we may repeat an affirmation like I am now deeply relaxed and feeling better than I did before.
Individuals keep their awareness on their breath and inhale through the nose and gently exhale through the mouth. As individuals inhale and exhale, they should focus on imagining a beautiful light surrounding their bodies. We want to visualize being enveloped in this beautiful light as if in a bubble.
Promoting Cognitive Control Over Automaticity
Therapeutic effects of MBIs on substance use and relapse prevention may be mediated by the effects of mindfulness training on neurocognitive mechanisms implicated in addiction. From a mechanistic perspective, MBIs have been construed as mental training programs designed to exercise neurocognitive capacities that go awry during the process of addiction.72 Hence, the focused attention and open monitoring meditations integral to MBIs can been conceptualized as exercises for strengthening prefrontally-mediated brain circuits integral to cognitive control â circuits whose functions are disrupted by chronic drug use and usurped by drug-related cues during the development of addiction. Cultivation of increased cognitive control capacity through mindfulness practices can allow the individual to gain self-control over automatic substance use behavior. This therapeutic process is theorized to involve increasing functional connectivity between prefrontal control regions and striatal brain circuitry involved in reward processing and habit responses.72 Improved communication in this frontostriatal circuit may provide the means by which MBIs can restructure reward processes hijacked during the addictive process.73 In this way, MBIs may strengthen a domain-general neurocognitive resource that can be used to modulate the automaticity, hedonic dysregulation, and stress reactivity that undergirds SUDs and relapse. Evidence for these mechanisms is reviewed below.
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Why Is Meditation Good For Recovery
When you first become sober your brain feels like its on overdrive. Youre suddenly strikingly aware of the world around you and the responsibilities that come with being a better person. You can be hit with obsessive thoughts, irrational dispositions, and struggle to sleep as your brain races.
Meditation cannot cure racing thoughts, but the breathing and mental health techniques that come with meditation are clinically proven to slow things down. The breathing associated with mediation can convince your brain that everythings alright and bring a peace you might not have felt in years.
Everyone in recovery should learn basic meditation to help stop the screeching train that your brain can turn into. Lets learn some basics of meditation and how you can pair mindfulness for even better results.
Guided Meditation For Addiction: An Overview
Guided meditation is a great tool to help you stay focused when your thoughts feel like theyre swirling.
The temptation to cave in to your addiction wont disappear but you can use guided meditation and mindfulness techniques to learn how to control it.
In this busy day-and-age, its easy to forget about our minds. The truth is, that the mind is complex and it needs nurturing.
Taking care of our minds is just as important as looking after our bodies.
Addiction recovery is hard and there is no miracle cure but with the right determination then you can get back on track with the help of meditation practice.
Lifes experience and mindfulness and guided meditation allow you to explore this and note your thoughts and feelings.
Dont let your negative thoughts and cravings overrule you and hinder your recovery.
Its your mind and its your life.
We have one shot in this life, so make sure yours is full of mindfulness, positive vibes, and a bright-looking recovery.
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Guided Meditation For Addiction Recovery
Individuals going through addiction recovery can benefit from rehab strategies that help them with mental health challenges. Mindfulness meditation or guided meditation for addiction recovery is one way to help people struggling with drug addiction find inner peace.
Getting rid of stress and negative thoughts can be difficult when an individual experiences sensory overload. It can be challenging for those in substance abuse recovery to quiet the mind when struggling with quitting drugs or alcohol.
Anxiety And Addiction: Signs And Statistics
Anxiety disorders impact 275 million people worldwide, or about 4% of the global population, according to the World Health Organization . In the U.S., about 18% of the population aged 18 or older, or about 40 million people, suffer from an anxiety disorder. This is according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America in its article, Facts & Statistics.
Anxiety often co-occurs with another disorder: addiction. A recent American Addiction Centers report found more than 8 million American adults have both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. According to the report, nearly 20 million adults in the U.S. struggle with a substance use disorder.
Anxiety disorders and addictions can develop independently from each other, or one can lead to another. Additionally, the ties between anxiety disorders and addiction mean that one disease can affect the other. For example, alcohol addiction can worsen the symptoms of anxiety in some patients, and vice versa. The following resources include additional information about the links between anxiety disorders and addictions.
Treatment for anxiety and addiction depends on a persons unique circumstances. A treatment plan can include medicine and therapies, such as cognitive-based therapy . Meditation can also be added to a treatment plan.
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What Are Some Recovery Meditation Techniques
There are myriad meditation recovery techniques to choose from. Your rehab facility may offer meditation sessions and training as part of your treatment program, but if it does not, meditation is readily accessible to anyone willing to learn. There are meditation courses you can attend, online guided meditations, and books about meditation to get a foundation in a meditation practice. It can be as simple as sitting quietly in a room and concentrating on your breathing for ten minutes in the morning before starting your day.
Mindfulness meditation can be particularly useful in addiction recovery because it helps you to regulate emotions, focus attention, and increase self-awareness. These skills are all critical to recovery because they give you the ability to deal with stress and triggers, manage cravings, and handle symptoms of underlying mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
During mindfulness meditation, you accept yourself and all things in your present situation as they are. You do not try to change anything. You assume the role of observer and simply watchthoughts, breath, physical sensation in the body. Through mindfulness meditation, you can begin to be more compassionate and aware of yourself as you arenot as you were in the past or as you want to be in the future.
To practice mindfulness recovery meditation you simply:
Other types of meditation to try include:
Start Setting Intentions As You Meditate More Often
As you continue to practice meditation, you will likely experience more deep and insightful thoughts. With time, you may also find that your ability to focus increases. As this happens, start setting intentions for yourself as you meditate such as resolving to let go of anger or working on being more patient.
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How Does Meditation For Addiction Recovery Help With Withdrawal
Withdrawal from drugs or alcohol brings on a variety of symptoms, such as insomnia and depression. Recovery meditation can help a person feel grounded and calm. Calm people improve their sleep quality and enable better moods.
Some people struggling with addiction suffer from thought imbalances such as obsessive-compulsive disorder . Meditation helps a person observe obsessive thoughts without becoming attached. This allows a person to regain control over his or her impulses.
How Meditation Helps With Cravings
People have cravings to many different things. It can be as small as a craving to procrastinate or check your phone, to food cravings and cigarettes. What all these cravings have in common though, despite how extreme and self-harming they can be, is that they all start as a thought from the subconscious.
Sometimes its something that triggers or reminds us. It could be the environment were in, the people were around, or something we hear or see.
Other times it appears as if the craving surfaced out of nowhere and it begins to control our thinking.
Some cravings come and go, others can linger with us for an entire day or longer until theyre either fulfilled or dealt with.
Meditation helps us deal with cravings as they arise much better than we might otherwise without knowing how to be self-aware and mindful of our cravings.
Meditation helps with cravings by doing just that, it teaches us to be more mindful of these thoughts as they arise, observe them as simply thoughts, and let them go.
Whenever a craving enters your mind, how often have you acted impulsively on it? How often have you witnessed yourself acting on a craving and feeling like its an out of body experience? How often have you fulfilled a craving, only to wonder what you were even thinking in the first place?
Meditation can help us distance ourselves from our cravings and watch them as they happen.
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Continuing To Focus On Breathing
As clients work through guided meditation, there will be a continuous focus on breathing. Individuals breathe in deep breathing in this light. Our instructors will ask clients to imagine its swirling in the back of their neck and their throat. It softens in their throat and spreads down shoulders, arms, forearms, and all the way to the fingertips. Relaxing, healing, calming energy, releasing any tension youre feeling with your breath as you exhale.
Its important to visualize this beautiful energy coming in and going into ones chest or heart center, relaxing all muscles. As individuals exhale, they release any tension or negativity. Bring the light in with the next breath, breathe it deep down into the abdomen and to the mid-back. Imagine that beautiful light swirling, calming, relaxing, and healing. Exhale any tension or negativity felt.
With the next inhalation, take this beautiful light and breath deeper down into the pelvic area. Imagine its swirling, calming, relaxing, and healing as it spreads down to the thighs relaxing and calming. Exhale any tension. Bring this light deep into the calves, heels, the arches of feet, and all the way through ones toes. Imagine this beautiful light swirling, calming, and healing, and with exhalation, let go of any residual tension.
Resources For Meditation For Recovery
Our guide can help you get started on meditation but there are dozens of high-quality resources to learn more. You can stop by a local 12-step library and pick up a book about meditation, visit your local library, reach out to your local recovery community for help, or go online for hundreds of reputable mediation sources.
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Top Meditation Techniques To Fight Addiction
No matter what substance you use, if you do it regularly, some changes leading to addiction inevitably occur in your brain. To rewire an addicted brain, you need to undergo a treatment process that will heal not only body but mind as well. Reaching abstinence is a big victory. But the struggle will continue as you will face triggering situations in your life. Fortunately, there is a method that can help you stop reacting to such triggers. This method is called meditation.