The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous were written in 1935 far ahead of our Western obsession with Eastern practices. The eleventh step of the twelve steps states “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” The “12&12” literature describes meditation as a “step out into the sun” where “debate has no place”. “It helps to envision our spiritual objective before we try to move toward it,” the book explains, “And let’s always remember that meditation is in reality intensely practical.”
Meditation is scientifically proven to change your brain
Though the twelve steps are universally written and designed to help most anybody, there are many people who do not find any kind of inspiration in the twelve steps, thus they are not helped by them. For people who do not adhere to the spiritual side of recovery, there is a scientific explanation for why meditation is important. Spiritual in nature, meditation is a scientific process. Inhaling and exhaling deep breaths, meditation increase the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain, which is hugely helpful in healing the brain. Under the microscope, more accurately the fMRI machines, meditation has been proven to increase gray matter in the brain, building new synapses. New synapses create more room for knowledge and learning. Over six to eight to twelve week periods in multiple different studies, meditation courses helped people enter remission from their clinical depression, reduce their risk of heart attack, and find more manageability with their anxiety.
Meditation gives you time to check in with yourself
When you go to treatment for a drug and alcohol or mental health issue, you do a lot of “checking in”. Looking at the counselor or therapist leading your group or individual you try to find something to identify with so you can “check in” with your feelings. You’re checking in with the group leader and with your peers. Meditation is a time to check in with yourself. You are able to take quiet time without the influence of a group leader or your peers to check in with you. Focusing on the breath and creating a deep internal space, meditation is like taking a break from everything outside of you in order to check in with everything within you.
Meditation is calming
The early months of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction are full of anxiety and stress. Your brain is adjusting to living without the constant influence of chemical substances like drugs and alcohol. By promoting stress reduction and calmness, meditation helps you navigate the more challenging moments of early recovery, keeping you centered and grounded. Ongoing, meditation will be a priceless tool for managing and enhancing your recovery experience.
Serenity and sobriety go hand in hand. At Avalon By The Sea, you will find healing for mind, body, and spirit that can take you to all of the places in life you’ve been dreaming to go- free from chemical dependency. For a confidential assessment and more information on our residential treatment programs, call us today: 888-337-2602