The stress of substance abuse on the mind is a real challenge to cope with. It’s why treatment only starts when detox ends because the physical addiction is only a piece of the puzzle when working towards lasting sobriety. More importantly, it’s the reason they say recovery is a journey and not a destination. Chemical dependency changes the very wiring of our brains and healing the mind is an ongoing process. Meditation and mindfulness are tools that help us develop awareness and clarity towards that end and they serve to assist in repairing the mental damage done by substance abuse. Sobriety is about taking one step at a time and mediation and mindfulness break it down further to focusing on one breath.

What Is Meditation and Mindfulness?

Sitting still and chanting ommmm. That’s stereotypically the first thing that might come to mind at the mention of mediation. But for real, what is mediation? The easiest thing is to consult the dictionary which tells us that it means to “think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation”. Mindfulness expounds on the idea of meditation and takes it further, Mayo Clinic defines it as, “a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress”. The draw to both in the context of maintaining lasting sobriety is clear: if you can train yourself to be aware and in the moment the benefits can be revelatory.

How Does Meditation and Mindfulness Help in Sobriety?

While both are considered alternative therapies to the traditional course of action for treating substance abuse, getting into the habit of practicing meditation and mindfulness can feel like a godsend in terms of the positives it shines on your life. Both during treatment and for the long run after. The benefits to sobriety and your general health and wellbeing include: Better Self Awareness – The more you meditate the more you’ll come to understand your thoughts and emotions better and eventually you’ll simply have a better grasp of yourself as a whole. The more in tune with yourself that you are, the more easily you can recognize when something is amiss and catch issues before they become too big to handle. Through that, you’ll ultimately be able to make better decisions for you. Improve Self Esteem – As you come to know yourself better and develop a way to work through and manage negative thoughts meaningfully, your positivity increases. Additionally, when you know you’re in control of your thoughts and the meaning you ascribe to them, it’s easier to find the positives. Reduce Stress – Logically, taking time to relax and focus on your breathing will reduce stress. Being squarely in the moment is a means to overcome and control anxiety. As you continue to practice meditation it can make dealing with stressors in the future feel manageable. Additionally, lower stress levels can help your immune system function better. Manage Anxiety/Depression – Depression and anxiety can be sparked by a lot of things, but stress is a big one. With mindfulness and meditation, you’re able to calmly get yourself through those bouts without dipping into anxiety or depression. Better Focus – As you hone your skill in meditation a natural byproduct is that your focus will greatly improve.

Practice Meditation and Mindfulness at Star Recovery Center

At Star Recovery Center in Anaheim, CA we believe strongly in the living in the moment ourselves. We’ve seen the transformative power for ourselves in the clients that go through treatment with us. If it’s something that’s piqued your interest, reach out to us and we’ll happily walk you through what meditation and mindfulness look like at Star Recovery Center.