Many of the things we consider New Age mumbo-jumbo are actually rooted in age-old practices that have proven to be helpful throughout history. The same is true with the practice of mindfulness meditation. When people ask us, “Can mindfulness meditation work for addiction?” we tell them it can, and it does. Our minds are the one organ we can actively change. Drugs and alcohol alter your mind’s neural pathways. Many of the areas that are responsible for peace, understanding, and acceptance have become inactive. The more we practice necessary mindfulness skills, the easier they grow, and the more effective. To learn more about our addiction treatment program, contact Red Oak Recovery today.
One of the first things you learn during our anxiety treatment program is how to be present. How can mindfulness meditation work for addiction when being present means struggling with addiction? The truth of the matter is that you haven’t focused many of your thoughts on the present. Instead, you’re concentrating on times when you were high or finding ways to get high. Alternatively, you need to bring yourself to exactly where you are at this moment. Feel, think, smell, listen, and look. You are here, not in a situation of stress and need. For this moment alone, you can resist the thoughts that fuel cravings. Don’t worry about tomorrow or five minutes from now. Focus on this exact moment and know you are strong enough to avoid temptation right now.
As you breathe, try slowing your breath. The slower you breathe, the more chemicals your body releases that produce calming feelings. You will find anxiety starting to fade, and with it, the urge to do something to stop the stress. Focus on each breath and allow your body to do what it was meant to do.
Thoughts Are Only Thoughts
How can mindfulness meditation work for addiction when your thoughts keep reminding you that you need the substance you are addicted to before? When you notice this negative self-talk, recognize it for what it truly is: simply a thought. Thoughts are not tangible objects. They can’t be touched. They can be easily changed, and they often enter and exit your mind at will. Take the time to remind yourself that just because you think it, you don’t have to believe it. Acknowledge the thought’s existence and then push it on, replacing it with thoughts you choose to focus on, moment by moment.
Mindfulness meditation requires you to observe without judgment. Practice compassion for others and yourself, especially yourself. Learn to accept you can’t change what you have already done, but you can choose what you do this very minute. Thoughts are neither good nor bad; they simply are. It is your action toward the thoughts that is important. Don’t judge. Don’t react. Simply observe.
You don’t need to be busy every single moment. Doing so actually creates the release of more stress hormones. It blinds us to the peace surrounding us and causes us to focus on unnecessary thoughts. Permit yourself to just be for the moment. Breathe. Live. You are on a journey that you can’t complete overnight. Enjoy getting to your destination as much as you do arriving.
Red Oak Recovery Can Help
Here at Red Oak, we firmly believe the answer to can mindfulness meditation work for addiction is a resounding yes. We can help you or your loved one learn to be still and start to rewire the critical areas of the mind that will help keep addiction at bay. Contact Red Oak Recovery if you are struggling 866.457.7590 and speak with someone who understands the peace you seek. You rewired your brain to focus on addiction. Now is the time to reverse that programming and start anew from a more peaceful perspective.