The path to addiction recovery is very much like climbing up a steep and high mountain. We need to eliminate the aspects of our lives that could trigger our addiction. This could be a stressful job or a toxic relationship. Then it would be beneficial if we spend some time in a sober living home such as Camelback Recovery LLC. There, we’ll find a support system with the counselors and fellow recovering addicts.
But the most important step that we have to take is working on ourselves. We have to find a way to be happy and content with life. One of the ways to do that is through mindfulness meditation. Here’s why.
Evidence of Mindfulness Meditation’s Impact on Addiction Recovery
Addiction of all kinds is a chronic disorder that can take over someone’s life. It can dominate your mind, drive us to madness if our urges aren’t satiated. It affects your mental and physical health. It could lead to long-term conditions such as heart diseases. It also affects our careers and day-to-day life. And it could ruin our relationships with our friends and family.
Mindfulness meditation, however, is an activity that puts our minds at ease so that our bodies can rest and recover when needed. It can lower our stress and anxiety. Through the years, researchers have found evidence in mindfulness helping with addiction recovery.
An example is a study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine. It found that mindfulness meditation can help with easing away one’s alcohol dependency. Nine out of ten of them said that it’s a useful way of preventing a relapse.
Another is a study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. The researchers found that mindfulness meditation is effective in controlling the subjects’ urges for substance use. It also increased their number of days of abstinence.
These two studies are among the many studies that prove that mindfulness meditation can help in our addiction recovery. But, to better understand how it can actually help, here’s how it can help with our happiness and relationships.
Healthy Way of Feeling Happiness
For many of us, unhappiness is what drove us to addiction. We’re struggling with our day-to-day lives such as our jobs and relationships. So we turn to drugs and alcohol to escape from such troubles. We turn to our addictions to chase some sense of euphoria even if it’s only for a short time.
If happiness is what we’re looking for in life, we can turn to mindfulness meditation. This is because researchers found that the act can literally change our brains for the better. Dr. Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist based at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School explained this.
She found that mindfulness meditation has significant effects on the posterior cingulate. This is the part of our brains that are involved in self-relevance and mind-wandering. They also found some effects on the amygdala, which is related to instinct so fight or flight and is relevant to feelings of stress, anxiety, and fear. This part of the brain became less prominent.
Focusing on the Present
One of the tenets of mindfulness is focusing on the present. It urges us to raise our awareness of the things around us. It encourages us to be more appreciative of the people around us and the things that we’re doing.
Being more focused on the present is crucial to recovering addicts. This way, we don’t dwell on their past mistakes. We can let go of the feelings of shame and guilt. And we are encouraged to forgive ourselves and move on.
Building Strong Relationships
As said earlier, a stable support system is crucial for our path to addiction recovery. We must remember the benefits of people having our backs whenever we struggle with our addiction. And the best way to maintain strong relationships to work on ourselves first. We have to start with our own attitudes, beliefs, and outlook in life in order to strengthen our existing relations and forge new ones.
What rsquo;s great is that mindfulness meditation can actually help us with building relationships. Because we’re learning to be more mindful of the present and what’s happening around us, we become more attentive and invested in our relationships. It leads us to make more effort for your loved ones.
Many of us suffer from an addiction. It comes in various forms. We could be addicted to substance abuse. It could be alcohol or cigarettes. It could even be sex. It’s a struggle that’s not easy to overcome. It doesn’t take an army of doctors and advanced medical technology. It mostly takes a stable support team and a strong will that’s dedicated to the path to recovery.
But the most important aspect of addiction recovery is working on ourseves and finding our source of happiness. Mindfulness meditation could be that source.