The use of meditation in recovery is an often talked about, but underutilized coping tool for those in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction. There are many benefits to using meditation in recovery, and this blog will address the top 10 benefits of meditation, particularly for those recovering from a substance abuse addiction. For many years, spiritual groups have praised meditation for its many emotional, mental, and physical benefits; in recent years, scientists have research meditation and found that there are many benefits to the act of consistent, daily meditation.
Meditation is beneficial for all people, whether or not they are recovering addicts or alcoholics. But as it pertains to the recovering individual, meditation in recovery supports a number of important areas in one’s life, such as discipline, mental clarity, and physical health. But what exactly are some meditation benefits?
– Reduced Stress → “Meditation is mind without agitation” Meditation allows individuals to take charge of their own emotions and nervous system. Meditation in recovery also changes the brain at the neural level. Activity on the right side of the brain (responsible for negative emotions) decreases with consistent meditation.
– Increased Focus and Memory → Meditation has been linked to several brain qualities that contribute to increased ability for focus and memory. Regular practice of meditation leads to neuroplasticity — the brain’s ability to change structurally and functionally due to environmental input.
– Emotional Balance → Studies have shown that those who meditate regularly show an improved ability to regulate their emotions in their brain. Meditation in recovery is a powerful and empowering tool for learning how to obtain emotional balance.
– Reduced Anxiety and Depression → Research shows that with consistent meditation practices, the brain signaling in the left side of the prefrontal cortex (responsible for positive emotions) increases, while brain activity on the right side (responsible for negative emotions) decreases.
– Improved Physical Health → Meditation induces relaxation, which causes blood pressure to drop. A study published in 2008 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicinefound that 40 of 60 high blood pressure patients who started meditating regularly were able to stop taking their blood pressure medication.
As evidenced above, there are many meditation benefits for anyone who practices it regularly. The meditation benefits are significant for those in addiction recovery. By practicing meditation in recovery, individuals can obtain more emotional balance, less anxiety, depression, and stress, and improved physical health, just to name a few. Who wouldn’t want all of these benefits?