Have you ever tried meditation for anxiety relief? A bout of meditation may do wonders to minimize mind wandering, especially if you or someone you love is coping with anxiety or experiencing anxious thoughts, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.
Researchers found that a mere 10 minutes of daily mindful meditation can reduce incidents of repetitive, off-task thinking, which is a hallmark of anxiety. The term mindfulness is often defined as purposefully paying attention to the present moment and without judgment.
This news is especially important considering that people’s minds wander about 50 percent of the time, according to a Harvard study. What’s more, anxious people, as well as those with depression, tend to get caught in the vicious thought cycle in which they hash and rehash what they have to do, what they didn’t do, whether someone is mad at them, and so on.
“We found that meditation practice appears to help anxious people to shift their attention from their own internal worries to the present-moment external world, which enables better focus on a task at hand,” said Mengran Xu, a researcher and Ph.D. candidate at Waterloo. “For people with anxiety, repetitive off-task thoughts can negatively affect their ability to learn, to complete tasks, or even function safely.”
Meditation for Addiction Recovery
In addition to helping people with anxiety gain greater focus, mindful meditation has been found to be a powerful tool in addiction recovery. A few of the benefits of meditation for anxiety relief include:
- Fending off stress: Meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress. This, in turn, makes you less likely to turn to drugs or alcohol for stress relief.
- Identifying and fighting cravings: Part of meditation is identifying negative thoughts and behaviors. Once you’ve identified your cravings, you can cleanse your mind. Then, you can go back to your day.
- Having greater self-acceptance: Self-acceptance can be difficult to practice, and nearly impossible to master. When you practice meditation, you know that you’re doing the best you can with the circumstances you’ve been giving. Moreover, you know that you’re working, slowly but surely, towards overcoming your negative habits.
- Taming emotional turbulence: Maybe you’ve been using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate pain or anger or sorrow. When you meditate, you can come to terms with those emotions, and accept them, rather than trying to dull them.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Red Oak Recovery®
Are you or someone you love suffering from anxiety and a substance use disorder? Our addiction facility utilizes the latest clinical practices and state-of-the-art techniques to treat young adults with co-occurring disorders. We treat several types of addictions, including:
At Red Oak Recovery®, we offer several addiction therapy programs. We have a mix of holistic therapies, such as yoga or meditation, and evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or dialectical behavioral therapy. We believe in addressing issues in a simultaneous, holistic and integrated fashion. We specifically tailor your therapy options to your needs. To learn more about meditation for anxiety relief, call us today at 866.457.7590.