by Peter Hanson
Recovery from addiction requires a lot of mental health and focus. Focus is a lot easier to mention than actually attain. However, like other positives, it doesn’t come easy but rather achieved through practice. Meditation is often used as a means to achieve focus, and for some, overcome addiction. Of course, it’s not an immediate solution to alcohol or substance addiction, yet often included in the recipe for success as prescribed by psychiatrists, psychologists, drug counselors, and medical doctors.
Meditation Decreases Depression
Advocates and subscribers of meditation believe that it can alleviate feelings of depression just as well as prescribed medicines. Addicts usually feel depressed due to the cycles related to addiction. Aside from the social stigma of addiction, those who use substances may be affecting brain chemicals, have trouble sleeping, or become financially stunted. All of those situations create and promote feelings of depression. Of course, it’s much more difficult to overcome addiction if one if feeling depressed. Sadness inspires users to run toward an immediate fix or solution, such as drugs and alcohol.
Meditation Helps Regulate Moods and Disorders
At times, an underlying mental issue or disorder predates addiction. Those with anxiety disorders may begin using pills, alcohol, and substances to cure social awkwardness or feelings of emotional discomfort. Through time, the substance becomes a problem of its own and only compounds the initial issue rather than alleviate it. Meditation has been known to help those with mood and anxiety disorders, teaching to self regulate through changing thinking patterns and reacting differently to the outside world. A number of addicts feel like they are not in control and the world is acting on them. Meditation helps practitioners take control of situations and feel mentally stable in a number of settings.
Meditation Promotes the Frequency of Gamma Waves
Meditation has been known to increase the frequency of gamma waves, which are associated with deep concentration. Buddhist monks were discovered to have a stronger frequency of waves as opposed to others. Neurologists theorize that the regular occurrence of meditation, as if pro athletes of meditation, helps the monks achieve an exceptional frequency of gamma wave activity.
Meditation Helps with Stress
Stressful situations are a huge trigger for addicts. Stress is a negative emotional state, no person enjoys stress, but people react differently to it. Meditation can’t eliminate stress, yet it can help the mind and body deal with it and lessen its impact.
For example, addiction could have been facilitated due to a stressful job, family life, or social atmosphere. While meditation alone cannot get you a better job, change the dynamics of a family, or help you move out of a bad neighborhood, it can change the way you think about a situation and how you react to your immediate surroundings. Meditation helps slow down mental reactions, so a person can respond to a situation in a healthier and increasingly well focused way.
Meditation Improve Emotional Intelligence
Overcoming addiction relies on a bit of emotional intelligence. Like any type of intelligence, some personalities attain it more naturally or easier, but it’s achievable by all. Meditation and the ability to focus makes it easier to think rather than automatically react to others and situations. An emotionally intelligent person learns that an exceedingly pompous boss or peer is not belittling to others as much as lacking the self esteem to feel equal to others. Such a level of understanding psychology helps with anger, anxiety, and eventually, addiction.
Meditation Helps Safeguard Against Distractions
Life is full of distractions, especially the present age. Whether it’s a television screen, smartphone, or computer that is creating a series of stimuli within a small frame of time, it’s the need to make a living, stay in shape, and maintain one’s looks. Meditation helps slow things down, not in a literal way but in an emotional and psychological one. For those looking to overcome addiction, distractions can lead to relapses and holes in logic. It can interrupt the mind just long enough to make a month-long recovery process over within a few minutes of vulnerability. However, those who regularly meditate are not only aware of distractions but understand how to avoid them.
If you’re struggling with addiction, make the decision to take the path to recovery. As mentioned, meditation is not an immediate solution but an ingredient to the recipe of better health and a happy lifestyle.
Meet the author: Peter Hanson has worked in adult mental health services for a number of years. He always likes to take the chance to share his insights online and has previously posted his thoughts on meditation and wellness blogs and websites. If you, or a family member, might need alcohol rehab help visit ArcProject.org for more information.