Everyone who is in addiction recovery knows that they will face relapse triggers: situations, events, places, people, smells, etc. that make them want to use again. A great tool to help you manage those triggers is meditation. Practiced consistently, it can benefit you on all levels: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
Three Common Elements
Although there are many different types of meditation, all of them share three common elements:
- Relaxed Focus – When you relax your conscious mind, your entire body de-stresses and relaxes. This allows insights and ideas to enter your present awareness from your unconscious mind.
- Being Present – By focusing on the present moment, you cannot worry about the future or the past. Present moment awareness allows you to reconnect with the world around you and the physical sensations your body is feeling. It helps you to appreciate that exact moment.
- Being Non-Judgmental – Meditation helps you to see yourself and others with compassion and clarity.
Different Types of Meditation
Meditation is not just sitting quietly cross-legged on a cushion for long periods of time. We offer below an overview of the five most popular types of meditation for addiction recovery. If you have trouble with one type, try another. Do one type one day, and another the next. Keep trying until you find a practice that works for you.
One of the simplest and most traditional meditation techniques, mindfulness meditation is very effective. The purpose is to help you become aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations by focusing your attention on the present moment and what you are experiencing only at that time. It teaches you to let go of negativity, slow down your racing thoughts, and calm your body and mind. It typically is done in a peaceful place while sitting in a relaxed position. It can be practiced in quiet or with calming music softly playing in the background.
This type of meditation is an excellent choice if you find peace in movement and action. Allow your mind to find stillness as you engage in a gentle, rhythmic activity you enjoy: walking, yoga, qigong, and tai chi are all types of movement that promote a mindful state.
When you practice breathing meditation, you focus on each breath as you inhale and exhale. By giving your conscious mind a focus, you can relax more easily into the present moment. You can find many types of breathing practices, including Kundalini breathing and alternate nostril breathing. Each of these involve a steady focus on the breath as a way to keep the wandering mind in check.
Spiritual meditation is similar to prayer and is popular in the Christian faith, Daoism, and Hinduism. When you practice this type of meditation, you seek a deeper connection with the Universe or your God. This technique can be practiced in a place of worship, at home, or in nature.
This meditation type uses a repeated sound to allow the mind to clear. The repetitive sound, or mantra, can be a phrase, word, or sound, such as the well-known “Om.” You can chant your mantra to yourself or out loud. The repetition allows you to relax the mind and become more in tune with your surroundings and environment. You will also be more alert and able to experience awareness at deeper levels. Some people prefer mantra meditation because it is easier for them to focus on a mantra than on their breath.
If You Need Help
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, now is the time to get the help you need. At Canyon Vista Recovery Center, in Mesa, Arizona, our guests are treated using a combination of clinical, medical, psychiatric, and holistic methods. Give us a call, and let us help you begin your journey to recovery.