The earliest stages of recovery from addiction are filled with changes in just about every aspect of life. It’s not unusual to feel the need to recover from addiction treatment, not just from addiction! Fortunately, there’s a tool for achieving recovery that everyone can master, that costs nothing, and that’s available 24/7/365 anywhere you go. That recovery method is meditation.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a practice in which you use a technique to achieve a calm, open, creative, receptive state of mind. You focus your mind on a single thought, phrase, object, or activity. Or you make a daily practice of mindfulness, bringing your attention to things that are happening right now, not things that have happened to you or that you worry will happen to you.
What does meditation do for your mental state?
When you meditate, you don’t obsess about the past or worry about the future. And this has profound effects on your brain:
- Meditation reduces feelings of loneliness. The emotional pain of loneliness is associated with extra activity in one area of the brain, the parietal lobe. The extra electrical activity in the parietal lobe is something like the check engine light in your car when your car is overheating. You feel the pain of loneliness when this part of your brain is overly active. Meditation calms the brain and reduces the pain of loneliness that you feel through the over activity of your parietal lobe.
- Meditation balances the activity of the two sides of your brain. You probably have heard about the different functions of the two sides of your brain. The left side of your brain is your logical side. It’s also your plotting and scheming side, that can get so busy pursuing an objective (like finding drugs) that it drowns out all other inputs. The right side of your brain is your creative, emotional side. It can become so hyperactive that you can’t carry out day to day plans. Meditation activates a part of your brain called the corpus callosum, which acts as bridge between the two sides of your brain. Meditation helps you avoid being too goal-directed or too mellowed out. Meditation helps you find emotional balance.
- Meditation reduces depression. When you are early in your recovery, when your addiction treatment is still detoxing you from drugs, you tend to get depressed. Withdrawing the drug of your choice can cause depression, and a newly sober outlook on the overwhelming issues of your life can be depressing. Meditation helps you find the energy to start making sober choices that lead to a stable recovery. You can experience depression when you start to control addictions to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or even sex or work. Meditation helps you find the energy to keep going in the right direction.
Addiction treatment is a process
Recovery from addiction isn’t just about stopping your use of a substance. It’s also about stopping “stinking thinking” that makes you want a substance. To achieve stable sobriety addicts have to get real about their past, own their mistakes, be honest about their character, and make the choices to lead a better life every single day.
That’s a stressful process. It can be painful even as it is leading to changes for the better. Anxiety, depression, and tension are natural parts of the process when you discover the world is still a challenging place. Addicts usually lead lives that expose them to trauma. Trauma can be so intense that it replays itself as post-traumatic stress. A drug may seem like a quick fix — except it starts the cycle that led to the trauma all over again. Meditation stops the vicious cycle of stress and relapses and replaces them with a daily practice that helps you find the strength to stay sober and get what you really want out of life.
Meditation can save relationships. Sometimes meditation gives you the strength to fix what needs fixing in an ongoing relationship in your life. Sometimes meditation gives you the energy to move on from relationships that cannot be repaired. And more importantly, meditation helps you stay in a good relationship with yourself. You can be sane and sober with the strength from within you develop through meditation.
You don’t have to go it alone
Rise in Malibu can help you with your recovery. We don’t focus on your addiction. We focus on you. We offer a combination of science-based, clinical treatment with a holistic concern for helping you achieve your best life. No matter how addicted you may be, no matter how many times you have tried and failed, no matter how damaged your relationships and career and finances may be, there’s hope. Let us find it with you. Take the first step and contact Rise in Malibu today. A staff member is also available by phone at 1-844-805-3455.