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Mindfulness Meditation: A Practical Supportive Sobriety Aid

Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation is becoming more widely practiced in popular culture, and can be found in mainstream national gym chains and upscale spas with more regularity.  Once dismissed as a trend, it is now being backed by medical authorities as having tangible health benefits as a supportive aid to sobriety and an economical and practical means of maintaining health and well being, both physically and mentally.  This stress reducing breathing form can be a functional way for a recovering addict to support his or her ongoing path to sobriety.  Specifically, mindfulness meditative techniques can help people suffering from addiction or dependency to release thoughts and feelings without judgment or reaction.  This method can assist a person to acknowledge feelings of cravings rather than acting on them, which helps reduce re-activity to substance cues.

Meditation has a variety of benefits for the body and mind, as well as being a widely embraced spiritual practice.  The act of quieting one’s body and mind is a way to gain control, both physically and psychologically.  While there are many forms of meditation, mindfulness meditation is regarded as a helpful tool for those suffering from harmful addiction and dependency.

What is Mindfulness Meditation?

Mindfulness meditation is a Western meditation technique that embraces a feeling of awareness from moment to moment.  It combines breathing exercises with a seated or kneeling posture, and allows for a stream of consciousness to flow through the mind.  Any feelings or emotions that arise are regarded with acceptance and help one to live in the present.  The practitioner can devote as little as ten minutes per day and experience positive results towards dealing with anxiety, stress, depression, and mental illness, including addictive behaviors.

Mindfulness Meditation as a Beneficial Supportive Aid:

Meditation can be a great support system in your traditional twelve-step recovery program, and it also helps to treat relapse issues.  Practicing mindfulness meditation can reduce the chances of relapse and help to preserve sobriety by increasing self-awareness and helping to negate the need for instant gratification.  Participants in a study of mindful meditation effects on recovering addicts showed reduced risk of relapse compared to those who did not engage in mindful meditation.  Clinical research supports the theory that it can encourage substance recovery.

Devoting a few minutes in your day to quiet, deep breathing, or stillness, can be a productive way to gain a sense of control.  Whether it’s at the start of the day upon first awakening, or as a way to wind down after a long day at work, those few minutes that you take to quiet your mind and body can have short and long term benefits that can continue to be an asset on your path to sobriety or addiction recovery.  It can be a shared experience in your local twelve-step recovery program, or fifteen minutes of quiet spent in your kitchen after your kids have gone to school, but practicing mindfulness meditation can be an important part of gaining control and providing that extra moment of clarity to help you make the right decisions and not give way to feelings of temptation or weakness.  And that moment can be all a recovering addict needs to continue on a sober path.

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