5 Ways Meditation for Addiction Helps

Written by Chloe Nicosia

5 Ways Meditation for Addiction Helps someone through Recovery

Meditation for addiction is an idea frequently discussed, and offered at some advanced rehab centers. Many tend to wonder about why this method should help, however. Meditation is supposed to calm the mind; how does it help with a condition as difficult as addiction? The answer is, meditation can help because addiction is primarily a psychological disorder. Helping calm and focus the mind is an excellent answer to psychological challenges. Here are five specific ways in which meditation directly helps those attempting to escape addiction.

Meditation for addiction offers a natural high

In at least one way, meditation is not very differently from substance abuse — both activities can result in a high. While drugs produce their euphoria or high by forcing changes in the way the brain’s learning and reward center operates, meditation helps you feel good by enhancing the production of endorphins, a chemical strongly associated with feelings of well-being. It’s one of the natural chemicals associated with the “runner’s high,” a high experienced by athletes, that frequently absorbs them in the activity in a healthy form of “addiction.”

Meditation can offer the benefits of biofeedback

EEG biofeedback is an advanced technique used in aftercare at many rehab centers. It involves altering the brainwave patterns of participants. Such biofeedback treatment helps some recovering addicts train their mind to gain better control over their cravings. While such high-tech methods can be expensive, however, meditation is known to offer some of the very same benefits.

Meditation helps with impulse control

Poor impulse control is one of the basic challenges faced by those who suffer from addiction. When an impulse for a given experience arises, addicts simply tend to have poor control over managing them, often feeling an irresistible need to give in. The traditional way to gain control over impulse control is to accept cognitive-behavioral therapy, a scientifically proven therapeutic approach that helps patients by training them to pay attention to the way their minds work when an impulse arises. They train themselves to interrupt the flow that the impulse takes, by clearly visualizing the consequences.

Meditation for addiction recovery is another effective way to counter impulses. This method takes a different path to dealing with impulse control. The activity helps quiet the mind’s chatter down, rather than help deal with impulse control once the impulse arises. For many, such prevention can be highly effective intervention.

Meditation can lower stress

According to studies reported in Harvard Health Publications, mindfulness meditation helps lower anxiety and stress, two primary reasons behind thousands of cases of substance abuse. If meditation works for you, lower stress levels can be a lifesaver in every way. It can even help prevent a tendency towards substance abuse.

Mindfulness is an important skill for addicts to learn

Automatic thought processes are a significant challenge to addicts attempting recovery. Such thought processes often govern the way painful feelings and emotions develop, forcing resort to drugs for solace. Substance abusers often suffer from all-or-nothing thinking, excessive guilt, self-deprecation, and other thought patterns that they are unable to stop. Here, again, cognitive-behavioral therapy is the conventional approach that recovering addicts use to gain some measure of control through self-analysis.

For some, mindfulness meditation works much better. Such meditation helps train the mind to focus on its internal actions and feelings. It needs to practiced no longer than a few minutes a day, it helps smooth thought processes, it lowers internal chatter, and helps the mind gain greater control over itself. It is an excellent way to help the addiction recovery process, where uncontrollable thoughts a problem.

Meditation helps many, and it comes with considerable support from modern research. If you can find a rehab center that offers quality alternative addiction treatment, it would make sense to try it.