How Meditation Helps to Defeat Addiction
Drug and alcohol addiction is thought to affect millions of lives around the world. Recovering from addiction is possible, but many people addicted will simply never enter recovery because they do not have the mental tools to do so.
Those that are fortunate enough to make a full recovery do so because they are able to access highly effective treatment. This treatment often takes place at a residential rehab clinic. These clinics successfully rehabilitate their clients because they are able to offer a range of highly effective and evidence-based treatments.
One form of treatment that’s become immensely popular amongst UK rehab clinics over the last decade is meditation. Meditation has proven again and again its effectiveness in the fight against both drug and alcohol addiction.
What is meditation and why is it so beneficial in the fight against addiction?
Meditation’s origins date back to ancient India. Monks discovered the power of concentrating awareness in the present moment as a means of allowing negative thoughts and emotions to fade away.
Meditation allows practitioners to attain a spiritual awakening and an enhanced level of enlightenment. Meditation requires you to concentrate on a single sensation such as the breath as it is expelled from your nose. Whilst many people choose to meditate alone, meditation is best performed in group settings. This is one reason why meditative practice is thought to be a type of group therapy.
There are literally thousands of types of meditation, but the one that receives the most attention is mindfulness meditation. During mindfulness meditation sessions, you will examine thoughts and feelings non-judgementally as they arise in your head. Whilst thoughts arise, you will concentrate on your breathing.
Often, meditation is offered as part of a wider holistic therapeutic package. Meditation is often packaged up alongside other holistic therapies such as Reiki, yoga, reflexology and acupuncture. Rehab clinics will encourage you to keep up your meditative practice even once you have left their care. This is because regular meditative practice significantly reduces the risks of future relapse.
Why is meditation so effective at treating addiction?
One reason why meditation is so effective at treating addiction is that it helps to rewrite neural pathways in the brain. One study discovered that those who meditated for only 30 minutes per day over an eight-week period benefited from a reduction in grey matter contained in the brain that’s believed to cause negative emotions such as stress and anxiety.
Experts believe negative emotions such as stress and anxiety are major causes of addiction. It thus logically follows that anything that helps to prevent stress and anxiety should also serve to reduce the urge to drink alcohol or use drugs. It’s believed that regular meditative practice significantly reduces cravings for substances. This is strong evidence supporting the claim that regular meditative practice will help to keep people in recovery once they begin to embrace abstinence.
If you are currently using drugs and alcohol, then the idea of giving up for good may not seem like an achievable goal. After all, you have probably consumed drugs and alcohol for the vast majority of your adult life. In these circumstances, it is fully reasonable to doubt your ability to live your life without drugs and alcohol.
However, we ask you to suspend this disbelief whilst you examine the evidence. Thanks to modern addiction treatments, including meditation, hundreds of thousands of lives have been saved. This trend will continue and improve as addiction treatments continue to improve.
Find out more about effective treatments in your local area
Rehab Recovery is able to recommend drug and alcohol rehab in your local area that includes effective treatments such as mindfulness meditation. Rehabs we recommend offer highly personalised treatment plans to suit your exact needs. You will have access to a range of treatments including detoxification, cognitive behavioural therapy, meditation, holistic therapies and many more. Contact us today on 0800 088 66 86.