The disease that takes over the lives of drug addicts and alcoholics can make them cynical and unreceptive to new ideas. Recovering addicts who can get past that cynicism and who can open their minds to those ideas will find that five minutes of daily meditation will substantially increase their chances of achieving long-lasting and true sobriety.
The Benefits of Meditation in Recovery
You will be better able to understand the benefits of meditation if you first understand exactly what meditation is. Meditation involves quieting your mind and focusing on a single thought or idea, rather than letting yourself be distracted by the jumble of thoughts and stimuli that confront you from the moment you wake up every morning. Meditation practitioners typically find a quiet place where they can meditate by themselves, although group meditation in increasing in popularity. Meditation is an element of many organized religions, but meditation by itself need not be a religious practice.
Meditation has no set format or time limits. Individuals typically begin their meditation practices with just a minute or two of daily meditation. For many people, one or two minutes leads to five minutes or more of daily meditation practice. The single thought that an individual might focus upon can be the same thought every day, or it can change from day to day. Over time, an individual might find that he has no specific thought when he commences meditation, and his practice simply involves freeing his mind of all thoughts.
Using Meditation as a Recovery Tool
In addiction recovery, meditation is one of many tools that recovery counselors will recommend to aid an individual’s recovery. It is not the only tool nor is it a substitute for counseling and other tools and therapies that counselors will use. When it is introduced early in an addict’s or alcoholic’s recovery, it can become an integral part of a lifelong path to true sobriety. Alcoholics and addicts report that they continue to return to meditation long after they have gotten past their addictions because the practice helps them to handle so many other stresses in their daily routines.
Clinical research supports the benefits of meditation. In one study, practitioners who meditated for thirty minutes daily over an eight-week period showed a noticeable increase in their learning abilities and memory retention, as well as improved self-awareness and introspection. Five minutes of daily meditation might not give these same noticeable effects, but it will point a recovering addict or alcoholic in the right direction to begin to achieve these effects. From this perspective, five minutes of daily meditation will definitely change the life of an addict or alcoholic.
Meditation may also be particularly well-suited for addiction recovery because it is easy to learn and it can be done anywhere. Recovering addicts face countless challenges, and they generally do not need to be challenged with an additional burden of complex recovery techniques and methods. It takes no special skill to do something as simple as sitting quietly for five minutes every day. Even the most hardened of cynics can be convinced to try this technique, and the results that they see will often break down the walls of their cynicism.
For more suggestions and recommendation on using daily meditation to aid in your addiction recovery, please call Sustain Recovery Services at (949) 407-9052. Our counselors can answer your questions and give you additional guidance on the benefits of meditating for five minutes every day.