The Role of Mindfulness in Addiction Treatment
Recovery from an alcohol, drug, or another type of addiction is extremely difficult because of the complexity of these disorders. The addiction typically has physical as well as mental elements that must be overcome in order to get well. Meditation and mindfulness are two effective techniques that improve health in both of these areas during addiction treatment
This article explains how and why meditation is part of an effective treatment plan for addiction recovery. What are the benefits of meditation? How does it differ from mindfulness? How do both meditation and mindfulness work with other therapies to help those with addiction disorders to achieve and maintain long-term recovery?
The Benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation
Meditation is the process of clearing the mind to attain spiritual awareness. Meditation helps you focus inward, paying close attention to your breathing and emptying your mind.
Psychology Today calls mindfulness “a state of active, open attention on the present.” Mindfulness is simply the awareness of what you are thinking and feeling, instead of worrying about the past or planning ahead.
There are two keys to meditation and the practice of mindfulness that make them particularly effective for drug rehab patients. First, staying aware of your internal motivations and feelings will help with the psychological effects of drug addiction. Second, managing your stress levels requires an internal awareness that meditation can help you hone.
According to the National Institute of Health, studies have shown that meditation has real physical health benefits From which everyone can benefit:
- It can reduce high blood pressure.
- It can calm irritable bowel syndrome.
- It can reduce the incidence of ulcerative colitis.
- It helps lessen anxiety, improve depression, and eliminate insomnia.
- It can even help with smoking cessation.
There are multiple studies that show meditation actually changes brain patterns in the practitioner, helping to improve behavior and overall health. The whole body and mind practice of mindfulness can improve the immune system if you practice only 10 minutes each day.
So, how does this help the person struggling with addiction?
The Importance of Being Present in Rehab
Meditation and the practice of mindfulness place you in a state of being present in drug rehab. That is difficult for you if you are often fixated on obtaining your drug of choice, thinking several steps ahead in order to obtain it. Meditation and mindfulness are similar practices that allow you to find peace inside yourself instead of through some sort of external stimulation.
Psychology Today says: “Instead of trying to avoid your experience, which has been associated with a host of mental and emotional disorders, you adopt an inquisitive and observing attitude toward your thoughts, feelings, and circumstances.” This practice can not only improve your health but also allow you to regain feelings of compassion and empathy.
Drug abuse or alcoholism can damage the mind, body, and spirit. Addiction treatment facilities employ a number of techniques that restore you, allowing recovery and a better life. Mindfulness and medication is just one way these facilities can help you heal the damage. To learn more about The Recovery Village Ridgefield, contact us today.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.