Meditation is one of the most important tools in recovery, but many people skip this step, or feel they don’t have time for it.
When we meditate, we can relieve some of the stresses in our lives. Stress negatively affects our health, bodies, and minds. We become frustrated, unhappy, and impatient. Stress is also one of the main reasons people turn back to drugs or alcohol.
Taking time to meditate can save us from making a disastrous mistake. Meditation can give us balance and calm our minds. We can transform our thinking from negative to positive, disturbed to serene.
It takes practice to meditate. When I entered rehab and participated in meditation, I felt like my head was going to pop off my body. The silence and sitting still almost drove me crazy. However, after a couple of days of practice, I actually felt better and more comfortable.
When our minds are not at peace, finding happiness is almost impossible. If we train our minds to meditate, we can learn how to quiet our heads, and eventually know peace even in the most challenging times.
Many times it is hard to control our minds. Our mind is like a sheet blowing in the wind, blowing everywhere from external situations. If things go as planned for us, we are happy. If a wrench is thrown into our plans, we are instantly unhappy. Our mood fluctuates because many of us are tied to external situations.
When we train to meditate, we create inner peace, so we can eventually control our minds no matter how bad the external situation becomes. Eventually, we will become balanced, instead of constantly being pulled from happiness to sadness.
There are a plethora of ways to meditate to find peace. Of course there are the more traditional ways to meditate with breathing exercises and meditating on compassion, peace, and love, but there are also other ways to clear your mind.
I like to take a long drive. There’s something about taking a long drive that clears my head. I can just focus on the road, and clear my mind. I don’t have to talk to anyone, listen to anyone, or do anything except drive. It’s cleansing for me.
Some people recommend taking walks. Getting outside the office or house and into fresh air has healing properties.
Many people pray to their Higher Power when they meditate. The power of prayer can be extremely healing.
Journaling is an excellent way to meditate. Putting thoughts and emotions onto paper gives you more perspective. If something is bothering you, writing it down and actually seeing it in front of you can help you work it out. Writing a gratitude list is also helpful. Focusing on positive things can also change your perspective.
Yoga or exercise is also a great way to rid yourself of negative feelings. Exercising produces serotonin, a chemical responsible for mood balance.
I also meditate through cleaning. I always feel better after spending a few hours cleaning my home. I feel like my mind is cleansed as well as my home. There’s something about sitting in a clean house that is especially healing for me.
Meditation and prayer ties into the 11th step in Alcoholics Anonymous. The step tells us, “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.”
Prayer can take many forms. If you are not comfortable with “God” in the dominant religious sense, don’t let that throw you off. “God” can be defined as your Higher Power, whatever you choose that to be.
You can pray to your Higher Power by asking for guidance, speaking out loud to Him or Her, or just expressing gratitude for living today.
Here at Harmony Foundation, we believe in the 12 Steps of recovery. If you are ready to start a new life and find peace in a life of sobriety, our treatment center is the perfect place for you. We have been successful in helping many people live 100% addiction free lives.