meditation for recovery

Various studies have pointed out what ways our brains can be reshaped by mindfulness activities. Aside from rewiring our thought processes, these activities can also help us improve our mental health, our physical well-being, and our overall health and welfare. In most holistic rehabs, these mindfulness activities are being practiced to help addiction patients become calm, more self-aware, and cope with their emotions which are disconnected with reality.

Aside from these positive effects of mindfulness exercises, adding the same to addiction treatment can help someone who has struggled with violent behaviors, unhealthy relationships, and those who struggled with different kinds of addiction.

So, how does mindfulness activities help patients in holistic rehabs? In an article published by Psychology Today, it was emphasized that mindfulness exercises provide us with the empowerment and strength to willfully reshape and rewire our thought processes so that we can gain better happiness, awareness, and control of our lives.

One advantage of using and practicing mindfulness is the ease. Meditation doesn’t require any equipment or special tools. We can practice it anywhere and anytime we need to. We do not need to adopt or accept a particular belief system in order to practice it. The only requirement is the willingness and openness to try new and different ways to open your mind.

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To start using meditation to help you, consider these simple meditation tips.

Be in your now.

According to the great teachings of Buddha, if we ignore the present moment and dwell on past or future, we will miss on life.

Is it possible to be physically present in one place and be actually somewhere else? The answer to this question is yes. This is exactly how most people live their lives. They leave the house hurriedly thinking about work. When at work, they anxiously think about the things they left at home.

Most people might be present physically, but their minds are wandering a million miles away. These are some of the reasons why we feel stressed and anxious about our life. We get easily distracted by our mobile devices, that’s why we choose to type, scroll, or swipe  rather than face and connect with the person needing us or the event unfolding before us.

To be more alive and be present, it is best to start being mindful in your everyday life. Increase your awareness by opening your eyes to the reality unfolding before you. Mindfulness exercises can help. With practice, we can focus on the mundane and little things around us and appreciate their beauty.

After practicing mindfulness you will realize how much calmer and connected you can become. You won’t feel the need to hurry and be anxious because you know that there is a right time for everything.

Focus on your breathing.

We deal with enormous amounts of stress from day to day. Whether it’s about work, the kids, our relationships, or the economy, life takes its toll and affects us adversely sometimes. Most of the time, we express the effects of our stressors through anger, violence, and at worst, addiction.

We resort to destructive behavior to cope, but we fail to realize that instead of coping, we actually fall deeper into misery and depression.

To all these overwhelming life events, the simple remedy is to focus on your breathing. Instead of getting mad or reacting negatively to events you don’t have control of, try closing your eyes then inhale the positive and exhale the negative.

For those in addiction recovery, this practice is very helpful because it allows the person to calm down, clear the mind of some emotions, and think more clearly about his response. Also, we are allowing our body to heal naturally and regain power over stress through this.

Believe that your thoughts are just mere thoughts.

Our thoughts are driving forces behind our actions and fears. What we perceive and believe about ourselves, the world, and others, are actually products of our thought process. Aside from these, our thought process also determines how we deal with the people around us and how we manage our day to day lives. But no matter how strong and powerful our thoughts are, they remain to be thoughts as long as we don’t act on them.

For people undergoing addiction recovery and for those who are struggling with a mental issue, it is their thought process that makes them feel negative about everything. They continue to feel bad or sad because of an unreal fear playing incessantly in their minds. As a result, even if these things don’t and won’t happen in real life, they still stay in their negative state.

Mindfulness exercises can help us become aware of our thoughts. There is no need to be scared of them. Eventually, it can empower us to release negative thoughts that keep us feeling down and sad.

Make your compassion circle bigger.

People are born to connect with others. Various scientific researchers have already shown that if we feel connected in an emotional level to another individual, we thrive physically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. If we feel disconnected, we become miserable.

To build better connections, we must first learn how to view ourselves and others through the compassion lens. If we continue to keep our judgments and prejudices, we are just building walls instead of relationships. Through mindfulness exercises, we get to a space of silence, love, and peace. These spaces then lead us to become more empathetic, kind, tolerant, and compassionate of others. We now start thinking of “us” instead of “me, you, and them.” 


Bio: Adam Durnham is a freelance blogger who specializes in writing about holistic solutions to mental health, addiction, and recovery. He currently lives in Detroit, Michigan. Much of his work can be found on the Sunshine Behavioral Health blog.

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