Alcoholism is often accompanied by depression, a sense of disconnection and dissatisfaction. Meditation is a practice that helps you control negative thoughts and consciously approach your emotions. Does this practice help addicts during their fight against addiction? Can it be a complementary technique for people who want to avoid relapse and start a new life?
Meditation is a way to a great understanding
Meditation triggers significant changes not only in the way addicts’ function but also in the structure of their brain. Thanks to it, the amount of gray matter in areas responsible for making decisions and learning gradually increase. This phenomenon is very beneficial for maintaining health and keeping the therapy forward. Meditation helps to cope with depression and anxiety, which often accompany a person addicted to any stimulants. There are many uses of meditation. First of all, this practice teaches the addict that they do not have to react to discouraging thoughts and desires. They learn that they do have a choice, they can stay in the present moment, while recognizing thoughts, emotions and physical feelings. They learn that self-acceptance is the most possible and helps them to win the fight against addiction.
Benefits of meditation
People addicted to alcohol or drugs have a false sense of control over the situation of reaching for another dose. In fact, they’ve become slaves to their desires. What are the benefits form meditation for addicts then? First of all, they can manage stress and discomfort in a conscious way. Through meditation, they learn to tolerate and work with unwanted thoughts, emotions and physical sensations, so that they reach for drugs less and less often. Meditation teaches them new skills in coping with life challenges and shows them how to create an emotional and intellectual “platform” that reduces the desire to reach for a drug. Addicted learns how to deal with problems such as anxiety, depression, inability to cope with stress or alcohol craving, which are the most common factors, responsible for cause relapses.
Why should I combine meditation with standard therapy?
Addicts use many practices during meditation, i.e. “observing, what is happening without grading and acceptance”. They visualize the desire that begins with a small size and gradually increases. The use of awareness of one’s breathing is aimed at overcoming thirst. Meditation alone cannot replace standard therapy. However, it is a useful option, thanks to which patients have a better chance of overcoming their illness by coping with stressful situations without resorting to stimulants. Meditation teaches them how to be aware of what is happening to their body in such situations and how to deal with it without an automatic reaction. It teaches them how to be aware of their feelings and thoughts, without having to chase after them throughout their whole life.