Managing Stress in Recovery: Meditation

Managing Stress in Recovery: Meditation

This month, L.A. CADA is looking at coping with stress during recovery from addiction. Meditation is one effective method of dealing with stress. Most types of meditation have three common components that are the key to their effectiveness.

  • Attention to the present moment: Detaching from thoughts about the future and the past allows you to reconnect with the world around you and your own body.
  • Relaxation balanced with focus: When the body and mind are relaxed and present, you’ll gain new insights and ideas.
  • A non-judgmental attitude towards others and yourself: Practicing non-judgment allows you to see yourself and the world with compassion and clarity.

Here are six types of meditation that can help you manage stress during treatment and recovery: 

Mindfulness Meditation. This type of meditation is usually practiced in a peaceful, quiet setting while sitting in a comfortable position. It involves focusing your attention on the present moment. As your mind relaxes, feelings and thoughts can flow freely. Your goal is to observe your feelings and thoughts without engagement or judgment. If your mind runs away, take it by the hand and bring it back.

Mantra Meditation. A mantra is a simple phrase, sound, or word that you continually repeat during meditation, for example the word “serene”. It can be said out loud or silently to yourself. This type of meditation helps you to achieve clarity and stillness as it calms the mind, reduces stress, and provides a deeper relaxation. 

Breathing Meditation. This meditation works to develop inner peace and calm the mind. It’s usually done while sitting in a comfortable position with eyes closed. As you breathe, concentrate on each breath as you inhale and exhale. Breathe deeply and slowly. Stay focused on your breathing as you relax your muscles. If your mind starts to wander from the present, bring it back by refocusing on your breathing.

Guided Meditation. Guided meditation involves a facilitator that guides you through a visualization exercise. You sit in a relaxed position with your eyes closed and take several relaxing deep breaths. The facilitator takes you through a scenario as you use your imagination to feel various states such as happiness, peace, connection, or growth. Check out these guided meditations, or find others online.

Moving Meditation. Not all types of meditation involve sitting still. Moving meditation involves practicing mindfulness while engaging in focused movement such as tai chi, or yoga practiced in a peaceful place. Focus on the movements and how they feel and flow in your body. Pay attention to all of the information your senses are receiving from the environment such as the sounds of birds, the crashing of waves, or the smell of flowers.

Watch: Guided Meditation for Recovery

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