For thousands of years, meditation has been an important spiritual practice in many cultures. However, meditation can be practiced apart from any religious beliefs, and many people today use it for the variety of ways it can support well-being. In the world of addiction recovery, meditation can help people establish a healthy balance that supports sobriety.
Three Common Elements of All Meditation
Most types of meditation have three common components that are the key to their effectiveness.
- An attention to the present moment. Detaching from thoughts about the future and the past allows you to reconnect with the world around you and your own body.
- Relaxation balanced with focus. When the body and mind are relaxed and present, new insights and ideas will flow to your awareness.
- A non-judgmental attitude towards others and yourself. Practicing non-judgment allows you to see yourself and the world with compassion and clarity.
Types of Meditation for Addiction Recovery
Here are six types of meditation you can try.
This type of meditation is usually practiced in a peaceful, quiet setting while sitting in a comfortable position. The practice of mindfulness involves focusing your attention on the present moment. As your mind relaxes, it allows feelings and thoughts to flow freely. Your goal is to observe your feelings and thoughts without engagement or judgment.
A mantra is a simple phrase, sound, or word that you continually repeat during meditation. It can be said out loud or silently to yourself. This type of meditation helps you to achieve clarity and stillness as it calms the mind, reduces stress, and provides a deeper relaxation. It is important to find a mantra that you are comfortable with and that allows you to focus.
The purpose of this type of meditation is to develop inner peace and calm the mind. It is usually done while sitting in a comfortable position with eyes closed. As you breathe, concentrate on each breath as you inhale and exhale. Breathe deeply and slowly. Stay focused on your breathing as you relax your muscles. If your mind starts to wander from the present, bring it back by refocusing on your breathing.
Guided meditation involves a facilitator that guides you through a visualization exercise. You sit in a relaxed position with your eyes closed and take several relaxing deep breaths. The facilitator takes you through a scenario as you use your imagination to feel various states such as happiness, peace, connection, or growth. This type of meditation helps you to explore your inner feelings, thoughts, and reactions. Check out these guided meditations, or find many others online.
Not all types of meditation involve sitting still. Moving meditation involves practicing mindfulness while engaging in focused movement. You can practice in your own home or in a peaceful place outdoors, such as near a lake, or in a garden, park, or forest. Choose an activity you like doing such as walking, tai chi, or yoga. Focus on the movements and how they feel and flow in your body. Pay attention to all of the information your senses are receiving from the environment such as the sounds of birds, the crashing of waves, or the smell of flowers.
There is Help Available
If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, there is help available. The professional staff at English Mountain Recovery, located in the heart of Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains, will answer your questions and guide you through the recovery process using a combination of evidence-based and holistic therapies as you travel the road to a clean and sober life.
About the Author:
Terry Hurley is a retired educational professional and freelance writer with more than fifty years of experience. A former reading specialist and learning center director, Terry loved her years working with children in the educational field. She has written extensively for print and online publications specializing in education and health issues. For the last six years, her writing focus has been on addiction and mental health issues.