Holistic therapy programs for addiction treatment are increasing in popularity among recovering addicts and rehabilitation facilities. Many drug and alcohol treatment centers have started incorporating alternative programs, such as meditation, yoga, and art therapy into treatment plans, as these have shown to be effective when conjoined by traditional methods of care. Meditation therapy for drug addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring disorders is often used in combination with treatment programs, such as individual therapy, group therapy, relapse prevention, and other recovery services.
Restore Treatment Center offers meditation training, with classes led by certified members of our staff. These therapists guide participants through mindfulness exercises and teach recovering addicts how to enter a meditative state. It is not necessary to come from a spiritual background for a person to benefit from meditation therapy. Habitually practicing meditation can help people from all walks of life to achieve a healthy lifestyle balance and sustained recovery.
Mediation is a practice that helps participants attain a mind-body connection through relaxation and mindfulness. Meditative practices have shown to greatly improve both mental and physical health.
Practices vary, but some common components include:
- Finding a setting that is free of distractions
- Making sure you are lying down or sitting comfortably
- Focused breathing, sometimes through a single idea or repeated mantra
- Keeping your mind open
There is no set duration of time for which one can meditate. Beginners may start at just a few minutes per session, and eventually work their way up. It is important not to immediately push yourself when learning the art of meditation. The activity should focus on mindfulness, which is the awareness of present thoughts and emotions, one’s surroundings, and physical sensations. The act of mindfulness is vital to the addiction recovery process, as it involves learning to accept thoughts, feelings, and emotions as they are. Mindfulness meditation allows addicts to release negative thoughts without feeling judged or labeled.
The increase in self-awareness, an inner sense of peace, improved mental functioning, and learning to detach from negative thoughts and impulses are all promoted during the art of mediation. This can greatly reduce cravings and prevent the potential for relapse overall.
Meditation provides addicts with numerous psychological and physical benefits, some of which include:
- Decrease in blood pressure
- Pain relief
- Anxiety relief
- Stress relief
- Depression management
- Improved immune system functioning
- Improved sleep habits
- Increased energy
Two major triggers for relapse include a negative state of mind and cravings to use. Due to this, meditative practices that center on addictive tendencies are designed to specifically address these negative thought and behavior patterns. Essentially, practicing mindfulness and mediation aims to help addicts in recovery become cognizant of these thoughts, instead of routinely reacting to them.
Practicing mindfulness can literally change the brain by influencing specific areas that have been linked to certain behaviors. For example, by increasing one’s awareness of the present moment, addicts learn to develop new ways for dealing with discomfort and reacting to substance abuse triggers. Mindfulness allows people to take back control of a mind that was once dictated by addiction.