If you are like I was a year ago, you may hear the word “meditation” and immediately roll your eyes. Then, I believed that meditation was something used only by tree huggers and yogis and had no real benefit to my drug abuse recovery, my spiritual growth, or improving my quality of life in general. I would try to meditate and end up getting frustrated because my mind would be wander around to random places sor I would fall asleep. After a few failed attempts I eventually gave up on meditation and as I continued through recovery, my life slowly became more and more chaotic and unmanageable.
Today this is not the case for me. Today meditation is actually an essential part of my recovery. I utilize meditation every day as a part of my spiritual growth and have come to rely upon it just like the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Meditation has benefited me in many areas of my life and has slowed down my brain to the speed of bliss and productivity. I can now manage my life and react sanely and normally to tough obstacles that pop up in my daily life.
Addiction is a disease that takes over the thought process in the mind. It’s very hard for me as a previous drug addict to accept that some thoughts running through my mind could potentially harm me or cause me to relapse. Meditation is a huge line of defense against my own insanity and helps me to filter through these thoughts. The addicted brain is like glass of dirty water with most of the thoughts running through the brain being dust particles, bacteria, and other germs that are harmful to us. Meditation is the filter that slows your mind down and helps you determine which thoughts need to go and which thoughts will bring peace to my life. Here are other benefits of meditation for those in recovery:
- Meditation reduces stress – Many styles of meditation can help reduce stress. Meditation can also reduce symptoms in people with stress-triggered medical conditions.
- Meditation controls anxiety – Habitual mediation helps reduce anxiety and anxiety-related mental health issues like social anxiety, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
- Meditation promotes emotional health- Some forms of meditation can improve depression and create a more positive outlook on life. Research shows that maintaining an ongoing habit of meditation may help you maintain these benefits long term.
- Meditation enhances self awareness- Self-inquiry and related styles of meditation can help you “know yourself.” This can be a starting point for making other positive changes in your life.
- Meditation helps fight addiction- Meditation develops mental discipline and willpower and can help you avoid unwanted impulses.