At Any Length, we’re big believers in the effects of the twelve-step program for overcoming drug and alcohol addictions. One of the most important aspects of the twelve steps is turning to a higher power and practicing prayer.
Meditation is an amazing supplemental tool for prayer – praying helps you establish a connection to God while meditating can help you form a deeper connection with yourself. It’s also a great alternative for someone who is atheist or agnostic and going through the twelve steps but prefers not to pray to a deity.
Learning how to meditate and implementing it into your daily or weekly routine can bring huge benefits to your recovery process.
Awareness & Control of Thoughts
During meditation, the goal is to sit quietly and focus on breathing, noticing any thoughts that may arise, and letting them go. Think of this as if you’re lying in the grass, watching the clouds pass by. You’re not focusing too hard on any one cloud, instead noticing that they’re there and allowing them to leave.
This is meant to help you put some distance between you and your thoughts. As your awareness of your thinking patterns grows, you’ll have an easier time controlling and letting go of any negative thoughts, particularly around your addiction. You may find you develop the ability to keep yourself calm in stressful situations and improve your self-discipline.
Understanding & Improving Yourself
Becoming more aware of the things you’re thinking helps you understand yourself and perhaps the root of your addiction a bit better.
As you increase your self-awareness through meditation, you become more aware of the ways in which you can improve yourself to be a better friend, family member, employee, and spouse. Your outlook on life may become more positive, thus influencing the people around you. Your intuition may become heightened and you’ll have a better idea of when people or situations aren’t good for you.
Getting Started with Meditation
Like we said at the beginning, meditation is an amazing tool to aid you through your recovery. By helping you become more aware of your thoughts, it can help you understand and deal with the underlying emotional issues that led to your addiction. By raising your self-awareness, you learn how to improve yourself for a better future.
If you’ve never meditated before, you might not know how to begin. Sitting still and focusing on nothing but your breath might seem almost too simple. The great thing is that there are a huge number of easy-to-access resources for beginners.
Apps like Headspace or Calm are available for your smartphone and can be used for free. YouTube also has a ton of guided meditations that you can access for free. Websites like meetup.com can help you find meditation groups in your area that you can join for free or at a very low cost.