Learn Meditation

At White House Recovery

People have used various forms of meditation to treat physical and psychological conditions for thousands of years. The health benefits of meditation include decreased stress levels, increased focus, and even the partial or total resolution of some sleep conditions like insomnia. Current research indicates that meditation-based interventions might reduce craving and addictive behavior.  

Therapists often teach meditation to people recovering from addiction as a coping skill for avoiding cravings, improving moods, and stabilizing physiological responses like anxiety. There are many different types of meditation; we will primarily be referring to mindfulness meditation, which is a simple technique that uses focus and concentration to induce a calm state. You can use it to keep yourself grounded at the moment if thinking about the future or the past begins to feel overwhelming. 


Common Types of Meditation

There are several different methods for achieving a meditative state. Not everyone responds to them in the same way; while mindfulness meditation might work wonders for one person in recovery, someone else might find zen meditation more useful. You can try out the different kinds to determine which exercises help you achieve the most calm. Here are the most common types of meditation:

  • Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness involves focusing your attention on a specific thought, moment, or action while monitoring everything around you. Deep breathing, body relaxation, and focusing on your five senses are exercises meant to stimulate mindfulness meditation. 
  • Zen Meditation: Zen meditation promotes personal insight and focus. You achieve it by clearing your mind of all distractions, including thoughts and feelings, and allowing yourself to simply exist at the moment. 
  • Guided Meditation: This method involves using peaceful imagery, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques to reach a state of calm. Many therapists combine guided meditation with mindfulness meditation.
  • Transcendental Meditation: When using this form of meditation, you relax your body and mentally or verbally repeat a mantra, a short phrase or focus word that is usually positive and self-empowering. Focusing all of your energy on the mantra allows your mind and body to reach a state of quiet and spiritual tranquility.

 

Using Meditation Therapy as a Tool in Your Recovery  

Recovery is a long-term process that will require you to find new ways to connect with your body and emotions. Here are a few ways that meditative therapy can decrease the risk of relapse: 

  • Lowered stress levels and anxiety
  • Decreased insomnia and other sleep-related disorders
  • Improved mood
  • Increased focus and attention 

Meditation therapy is an effective tool for creating positive change in your life one moment at a time. You can use meditative techniques throughout your day to manage emotions and build new, healthier thinking patterns. 

Examples of Meditation Exercises 

Intrusive thoughts, anxiety, and depression can negatively impact your recovery and your life in general. You can control each of these counterproductive and unpleasant states by practicing meditative exercises. Overcoming internal negativity is a unique process for every person, so if you find yourself not responding to one activity, you can always move on to another until you find an approach that helps you. Here are three examples of meditative practices taught in meditation therapy:

  1. Deep Breathing: Find a comfortable position, either sitting or laying down. Try to clear your mind of distractions and focus on your breathing. Inhale through your nose for a four-second count. Hold your breath for a four-second count. Exhale through your mouth for a four-second count. Repeat this for two or three minutes until you feel your mind and body begin to relax. 
  2. Full-Body Relaxation: Get into a comfortable position and relax your body inch by inch, starting at your toes and moving up to your head. Stop at each major muscle group and consciously relax them before moving on. Focus on your body and your breathing while clearing your mind of all other thoughts. 
  3. Guided Meditation: You can listen to a recording, or your therapist may read from a prewritten script describing a quiet scene like a beach. You will be in a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down. While listening to the words, visualize the images they describe. Try to fill in as much detail as possible while breathing deeply and evenly. Follow the guided instructions while keeping your mind clear of all other thoughts and distractions. 

 

Meditation to Treat Withdrawal 

On top of being an excellent means of increasing daily serenity, meditation is also particularly useful for treating specific conditions. After detox, the withdrawal period can include uncomfortable symptoms like insomnia, depression, agitation, and racing thoughts. You can decrease these symptoms using meditative therapy. There is even some evidence that practicing meditation can reduce certain flu-like symptoms borne of withdrawal. Meditation can also help you find relief for co-occurring mental health disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

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Meditation has been used for generations in countries around the world to treat physical and psychological symptoms. Science has proven that meditation is an effective tool for cultivating a more peaceful mindset in your daily life. You can use it to overcome the side effects of withdrawal, such as insomnia or anxiety. Some forms of meditation can also aid in long-term recovery by providing an excellent medium for retraining the brain to think in healthier ways. Meditation can also lower stress levels and improve your mood. The staff at White House Recovery and Detox believe that many people can benefit from learning to use meditation as a tool during recovery. Various meditative techniques can also enhance the effects of other forms of treatment.