Waking up and getting out of bed, we have lived our lives with the playful concept that there is a right and wrong side of the bed to get out of. In the end, we know that the chances of fate being dependent upon which side of the room our feet hit the floor on first is very slim to none. The reality of the matter is that we as individuals create our own destinies. Every choice we make is an action that has a reaction and so forth and so on. This being said, those of us who are addicts and alcoholics have to make our choices carefully. In the blink of an eye, we can throw ourselves overboard and into the largest downward spiral if we are not taking care of self.
Ah, but what can we do to take care of ourselves? Well, as addicts and alcoholics, dropping all substances and chemicals is the best thing we can do for ourselves, to begin with. Then after the problem is taken away, our alcoholic tendencies become more about maintenance and making sure we don’t return to such a state of mind. Prayer and meditation in recovery are one of the healthiest, cheapest, and most proactive ways to maintain conscious contact with a higher power and to stay of fit mind, body, and soul. Practicing mindful forms of listening and talking to a higher power can improve even the simplest of qualities in one’s life.
Keeping Mindful Benefits in Mind
When applying prayer and meditation to your life, it’s of utter significance to understand what it is we are specifically reaping from such practices. Taking a deeper look at the situation, we know that prayer and meditation are forms of mindfulness, but how so?
Mindfulness can be described as “the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the moment.” This essentially means taking the time to focus on self and the relationship with higher power. It’s a time to be introspective and to just listen to the gears turning around and round upstairs. Doing so opens up the doors for this self-medicine to actually heal the mind and body believe it or not. Yes, keeping conscious contact with a higher power can make a world of difference in our physical health as well as our mental sanity.
For starters, prayer and meditation will help reduce depression, anxiety, and stress in large numbers. It is scientifically proven, as a matter of fact, that both prayer and meditation can reduce stress significantly to the point where it builds protective tissue around axons in the brain to help against the outside forces. It can also, in turn, increase self-esteem and thus lower the various mentalities that plague us over time such as depression and anxiety.
One of the largest key components of turning over our minds like such is that it will allow us the opportunity to get to know ourselves better. It allows us to really reflect on the situations we put ourselves into and why we handle them the way we do. Rumination as such will give a non-filtered perspective on things that we normally justify and rationalize throughout the day without thinking twice about them. These are the things that are there, but we don’t see. Many studies in Psychology of the Mind and Science will refer to these problems as “blind spots.” The human mind has a strong ability to justify and rationalize things subconsciously as it sees fit.
This is a technique that allows us to conquer our own emotions and look at them from an objective standpoint. Prayer and meditation allow us to speak directly with ourselves or our higher power and use conflict resolution with our own chain of events. It’s simply a method of speaking with greater entities. Prayer is usually that of talking to a higher power, whereas meditation consists more so of listening.
Taking the time to process the trials and tribulations we experience will create a better relationship with self in the end. Understanding what makes us tick or why it is that something can evoke certain emotion out of us. Going through this and seeing the “truth” for what it is can differentiate our self-esteem and general well-being. Taking a thorough look at mannerisms will bring them to light and bring us another step closer to acceptance: accepting everything in our lives as the way it comes.
Prayer and meditation in sobriety open up a path for knowledge and learning. We go through the course of our day watching others and creating judgments and perceptions in our head. If that is the case, it means somebody else does it to us too. So much is seen but so little information is shared. Taking the time to be introspective and recognizing patterns in behavior will create room for self-improvement. Asking a higher power for answers or a nudge in the right direction increases this self-improvement tenfold. Why not be the best you that you can be?
As previously mentioned, then there are the physical benefits that are gained through prayer and meditation. When we significantly lower the amount of stress being induced on the mind, the body, in turn, will loosen up from its rigid state.
A large portion of people don’t realize the damage stress and over analyzed worries can cause upon our structure. Stress gets swallowed up all day long and literally poisons the body. Stress and anxiety-ridden emotions can, in turn, cause bile to build up and can be very detrimental to the individual.
Alleviating some of this can, in turn, prevent stress eating, acne, cramps, and overall the emotional pessimism more than likely being experienced. It’s vital to see forms of prayer and meditation as a “stretching” of the mind. Practicing such exercises will loosen the tight hold we have on stressors and give the body an overall new feeling to work with. Being self-aware will help us give to others and take away less. At the end of the day, conscious contact and mental reflection will create room for the mind to grow and to manufacture the best person we can possibly be.
Making Prayer and Meditation a Daily Habit
At this point, we hope you agree that prayer and meditation will be a big help for you through your recovery. But if you’re like many other people, and neither prayer nor meditation were part of your life before, you may be wondering how to add one or both to your daily routine.
The trick to making something a habit is to start simple and stay consistent. For example, if you’ve never meditated before, don’t commit to spending an hour in meditation every day. Start with five to ten minutes before you get out of bed each morning. Feel free to increase this amount of time as you begin to feel more comfortable, but making too intense of a commitment from the start makes it more likely that you’ll quit out of frustration too soon.
Whatever the specifics are that you decide to commit to in your spiritual practice, aim to do it every day for 30 days. Three to four weeks of consistent practice is all you need to make prayer or meditation an automatic habit. Once you make it past the first month, you’ll find it’s easy to sustain.
Not Ready for All That?
Being trapped in active addiction is a life consisting of bad choices and finding yourself repeatedly in the wrong place at the wrong time. It gets old while being uncomfortable almost becomes the norm. Sometimes it takes some simple changes and it’s amazing how different life can become.
If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-512-598-5595 or visit www.anylength.net. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that we can all be proud of.