Meditation is an ancient practice and is the oldest known therapy. It has been used successfully by people all over the world for its medicinal and psychological benefits. Here are just the Benefits of Meditating to anyone, but particularly to someone in recovery from addiction and alcoholism:
Reduces Stress. Anxiety and chronic pain go hand-in-hand. When one is in pain, it is hard for the brain to focus on the present and avoid worrying about the pain. Meditation lowers the levels of stress hormones in the body which can lead to a decrease in the symptoms of both. Meditation also allows the brain to release “feel-good” chemicals that counteract the chemicals and toxins in the body that cause pain.
Decreases Anxiety and Stress. Anxiety and stress are often accompanied by other symptoms such as headache and lack of concentration. Many people who meditate report feeling calmer and having less irritable symptoms associated with stress. This is due to the fact that meditation allows the individual to focus more attention on the breath and not so much on the symptoms of the illness or discomfort.
Reduces Anxiety and Stress. When a person is suffering from anxiety and/or stress, they can feel helpless and unable to cope. Meditating regularly can decrease their symptoms and allow them to better handle their illness and their life in general. Some who meditate also find that they are less depressed and have more energy. One in four Americans suffer from some kind of addiction at some point in their lives, and meditation can be beneficial in relieving the symptoms of those addictions. Studies have shown that individuals who are in recovery from alcohol and drug addictions and/or clinical depression may benefit from practicing this type of mind control.
Enhances Brain Function. A recent study done at the John Hopkins University of Neurology stated that a regular meditation practice can indeed enhance brain function, allowing the brain to work at a higher level while engaging all of its resources. This is one review that concluded that the brain can become physically and psychologically healthy when one practices meditation regularly.
Increases Awareness and Focus. Many who meditate notice that during periods of high stress and anxiety, they have a decreased focus and attention. However, they soon discover that when they practice meditation, they can sustain attention and fully engage in activities for longer periods of time. This increased focus lasts throughout the day, allowing them to perform better in school, work, and even in personal relationships. Meditators also note that they find it easier to relax after practicing meditation because they are not constantly fighting with the thoughts, feelings, and concerns that occur throughout their day.
Reduces Anxiety and Stress. Like many who meditate, those who practice mindfulness note that they have fewer symptoms of both high stress and anxiety as well. This is due to their ability to use their breathing, muscle tone, relaxation, and awareness to calm themselves down. A common sign of high stress and anxiety is rapid pulse and heartbeat rate, as well as tightness in the chest and throat.
Reduces Personal and Professional Stress. In today’s world, many people are stressed due to work, home, family, or finances. A daily practice of meditation can help people reduce the physical effects of stress such as headaches, aches, and tension, as well as reduce the mental stress that can result from worrying about the future. It is no secret that the mind is the first line of defense in dealing with both physical and mental issues, so it makes sense that meditation can reduce mental stress, which can help the body deal with the daily stresses we face.