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3 Steps to Meditation for Addiction Treatment
Meditation is a valuable tool and has shown to reduce blood pressure, improve anxiety and depressive symptoms, reduce insomnia, and more. Along with these, meditation and mindfulness practices have proven to be an effective form of complementary treatment for people in addiction recovery.
Despite the long list of benefits associated with meditation, the process can still be foreign to people who’ve never tried it. If you aren’t sure what you should be doing during a meditation session, you can try these 3 simple steps to help you get started:
3 Steps for Meditation
- Focus on Your Breathing
This is the paramount step for meditation. During meditation you will work on directing your attention on your breath. Focusing on the inhale and the exhale. The purpose of this exercise is to be mindful of these two things. By focusing your awareness on your breathing, you will be able to apply this to other aspects of your life such as eating, drinking, or walking.
It is natural for the mind to wander during meditative sections – this does not mean you are doing something wrong. If you recognize this happening simply bring your thoughts back to your breathing. By focusing your attention on your breathing, you will be able to tune out the mental clutter you deal with and work toward reducing stress and becoming more relaxed.
- Become Aware of Your Body
Once you become comfortable focusing on your breathing, you can move to focusing your attention on your body as well. From the top of your head to the tips of your toes you want to be able to focus throughout the entire body. Oftentimes in our life our bodies are present, but our minds are wandering elsewhere. Being able to focus the mind on the body will create unity between the two.
Practicing body awareness will also allow your mind to recognize tension and stress as it builds up in various parts of the body, this is essential for step 3.
- Release Built-Up Tension
After becoming fully aware of your body, you should find it easier to identify pain and tension throughout. This next step will work on releasing this tension.
Think of it like a massage. When you get a massage, the masseuse will work your muscles and knead out any tension and stress which has built and caused your muscles to knot up. You are doing the same exercise but mentally rather than physically.
In a comfortable position, preferably sitting or lying down, focus on this concentration of stress in the body and continue to breath as you work to release this built-up tension by letting the body fully relax. Practice makes perfect with these exercises. It may feel silly at first but after spending some time, you will learn how effective these methods can be.
Meditation and Addiction Treatment
Meditation and mindfulness exercises are becoming more prevalent in substance abuse treatment due to the positive impacts it can have on mental health. Oftentimes, mental health disorders and past trauma act as the catalyst for substance abuse problems. By working to solve these underlying mental health problems through dual diagnosis treatment, clients can confront their addiction at the source and truly achieve long-term sobriety.
The Hope House, one of the few inpatient , partnered with Arizona State University to bring additional mindfulness treatment programs to clients. Whether a client is dealing with alcoholism or opioid addiction, mindfulness-based exercises can establish mental clarity and work as a relapse prevention technique for clients working toward long-term sobriety.
Whether you are dealing with an addiction issue, professional stress, or just want to improve your well-being, meditation is a great exercise which can help improve your physical and mental health as you reach inner enlightenment.
About the Author
Joe Gilmore works for The Hope House, a luxury rehab in Scottsdale, AZ dedicated to providing clients with the highest form of care during their stay at our beautiful and spacious facilities.