Meditation is one of the most effective holistic approaches out there – and despite the many, many benefits of implementing it into your daily life, you may find that it’s incredibly hard to do. Perhaps you’ve tried sitting down and closing your eyes, only to find that you’re mind continues to wander; maybe you’ve been able to stay focused for a brief period of time, but then you find yourself bored, tired or in pain from sitting in an uncomfortable position. Meditation is incredibly beneficial for those in addiction recovery, but you may be wondering you can possibly benefit from it when you’re unable to concentrate the way you’d like. If you’re a beginner to meditation, don’t worry! This is a common concern and there is much to say about how a person can get the most out of meditation. First, what is meditation?
The Definition of Meditation
Dr. Matthew Thorpe, an expert on nutrition and holistic practice, told Healthline in 2017 that meditation is, “A habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts.”
The goal with meditation isn’t to change your thoughts or even to make them go away, but rather to accept your thoughts as they come and go. There are so many benefits to meditation, such as to:
- Reduce stress
- Control anxiety
- Promote emotional health
- Enhance self-awareness
- Lengthen attention span
- Reduce age-related memory loss
- Generate kindness and compassion for others
- Enhance addiction recovery processes (such as through emotion and control)
- Improve sleep
- Help control pain
- Decrease blood pressure
- And so much more
A 2016 study published in the journal LifeScience Global explored just how beneficial mindfulness can be towards relapse prevention for those in addiction recovery; meditation promotes mental wellness and helps individuals find grounding even when chaotic thoughts or feelings emerge.
Meditation as a Practice
Meditation isn’t just an “activity” to complete – it’s truly a path towards transforming the way we connect to thoughts. With meditation, we’re able to act as an observer to what comes and goes in the mind, and this helps relieve a lot of stress as we learn to detach such importance to thoughts that aren’t productive. A common belief is that meditation has to be completed on the floor, with one’s legs crossed – and while there are subjective opinions on how this practice should be implemented, many experts would argue that meditation should be done in a way that is most conducive for you.
Writer Jessica Stillman emphasized on Inc.com the many types of meditation that one can practice – which means that if one style doesn’t work for you, you can try another. In addition to this, the length of time you meditate doesn’t necessarily matter in the beginning – it’s really all about getting yourself accustomed to doing it. Pedram Shojaj, author of the book, The Art of Stopping Time, told Inc.com, “If you can only manage 20 minutes a day, do 20 minutes. If you can only manage 10, do that. If three minutes is all you have, then spending three minutes is much, much better than not doing so.”
Meditation could be considered a form of mental training, and it can be done anytime, anywhere. You don’t have to create the perfect circumstance – you could practice it right before you make a phone call, while you’re waiting for an appointment or as you sit at home enjoying the peace and quiet.
For those struggling with anxiety or depression, meditation can seem challenging because of the whirlwind of thoughts going on in your mind. In 2017, Medium highlighted the fact that meditation is more about acceptance than it is about making thoughts go away. The next time this occurs, practice accepting whatever thoughts come your way – and without judgment, watch those thoughts float in and out of your mind. Manuel Kraus, founder of Pocketcoach, a chatbot that helps people manage anxiety, told Medium, “ The key is that acceptance comes first, and change comes later. We first need to accept things and then they change by themselves.”
Recap: Important Points to Remember
If you decide to continue giving mindfulness and meditation a try, remember the following truths:
- Change is gradual.
- There is no “right” position you must be in to meditate.
- Your thoughts will come and go, and that’s okay.
- Meditation won’t always feel pleasant. Practice acceptance.
- Try different forms of meditation to see what works best for you.
If you’re ready to take a stand for your recovery, speak with a professional from Avalon Malibu today. A number of holistic practices can be integrated with more traditional approaches (such as therapy), as these include yoga, meditation, art therapy, massage therapy and much more. Practice patience as you figure out what you need for ultimate healing and restoration. Now is the best time to make your mind, body and spirit a priority.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.