If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent. – Ani Pema Chodron
Meditation is a growing practice in the US. Today it’s considered a complementary health approach used by many health institutions and doctors as part of their treatment plans. As per the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 18 million adults were using this technique by 2012 to help with pain management. And there are many other benefits of meditation too.
In my case, I learned about meditation when I was going through addiction rehabilitation. After hitting rock bottom with a mix of drug and alcohol addiction, yoga and meditation have been a crucial part of my rehab and my sobriety for over 8 years now.
Practicing mindfulness meditation will help you grow and learn more about yourself; it’s not a complex activity, and it doesn’t require any special equipment. In meditation, the most important thing is you— how you see yourself and how you learn from it.
Most people think that meditation is all about putting your mind to rest or trying to leave it blank, but it is not so! It’s about focusing on one thought and experiencing it. Feeling the thought.
There are many different way to achieve this, so I’d like to share with you some easy steps that worked for me when I was starting my path into mindfulness meditation:
5 Steps to Using Meditation For Addiction Recovery
1. Practice with Determination
Starting to meditate can be very frustrating at first, especially if, like me, you are recovering from addiction and are desperate to find inner peace. Be patient and don’t give up. It will pay off. Concentrate, you will start to discover the benefits of meditation after some days.
Persistence: meditation cannot be achieved in a day, yes, this is a hard realization to come to. It is a matter of practice as your mind will not stay quiet until you have practiced enough. The more you meditate, the calmer your mind gets and the calmer you will feel on a daily basis.
2. Be Aware of Yourself: It’s all about YOU
Don’t try to stop thoughts coming in to disrupt you, just sit quietly and let go of your worries. Don’t try to block anything, just be. What does this mean? It means that you shouldn’t start by sitting down and expecting a specific outcome from meditation. Be aware of your thoughts, your body, your surroundings. Sometimes focusing on your breathing, your body, or the sound of nature around you is all that is needed. Enjoy the moment.
3. When Should You Do It?
When starting, try meditation first thing in the morning or at midday as opposed to the end of the day where you can fall asleep because you are tired. Sit in a quiet place where you feel you can find yourself at peace, try a position with your back straight to avoid sleepiness (which is very common when you are starting). For me, the best place I could find was sitting under a tree after my group meetings.
If there is a special time during the day in which you feel you will have fewer distractions, then choose that time, just try to make sure is not your ‘sleepy’ time.
4. What Is The Best Way To Meditate?
There isn’t a set in stone way to meditate, there are several meditation techniques you can try until you find the one that fits you the best. Repeating a mantra, prayer or statement may help to avoid distractions. Whenever I was in a place where there were no trees available, I tried listening to the I tried listening to the sound of rain, to me, it was relaxing. There are plenty of audios on YouTube that you can use if you can’t find a quiet place.
Remember, meditation and its benefits will come at their own pace, don’t resist your thoughts or feelings, let them flow in, and focus on that. Sometimes we need to understand the thoughts that creep in. Let’s just make sure we focus on one thing.
5. Stay Positive
It’s normal in our everyday lives to be under a lot of stress and controlling it can prove challenging. Thus, we are filled with anxiety, anger, and frustration, which, for a recovering addict is incredibly dangerous. Don’t let the negativity stop you, it is part of your healing process. Embrace these thoughts and let them morph into positive ones
Meditation has proven to help individuals to lower their stress levels and improve all types of health conditions as it lessens the effects of diseases by boosting your immune system. It also aids you to sleep better as it reduces fear and anxiety, and improves your self-confidence, aiding in the recovery from depression. Meditation can make you happy!
Don’t forget that like everything in life, meditation will take serious work until it becomes something you can do easily. If you feel ten minutes is too much, you can always start with five minutes and increase a minute per day until you reach ten minutes. After one week, you will feel the benefits as you shift your worries into what they are: plain thoughts that flow through you.
With meditation, you will experience the here and now, the present time, the breeze on your skin, and many other sensations we are usually unaware of. Do you have any other tips for meditation? Please, comment below
You will also find it helpful to start managing your dopamine.
Hi, my name is Andy! I was born in Bogota, Colombia, but raised in Los Angeles, California. I spend my time helping others with their recovery and growing my online business.