Meditation is not a new trend or “fly-by” strategy that is now being practiced. It has been around and used for a variety of reasons by people from all over the world. What is more recent, however, is the use of meditation in relapse prevention.
Recognizing the benefits on one’s physical and mental health, those in the field of addiction and recovery have linked meditation as a solid strategy for relapse prevention. Meditation promotes health benefits, encourages one to center the mind, and supports the healing of the body. While including meditation as a regular part of one’s routine, meditation can also be used in the event of a trigger.
Benefits of Meditation
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describes meditation as a crucial part of self-care. In addition, they state that meditation supports coping with stress or stress management. At the same time as promoting those specific benefits, it also supports living a healthier lifestyle. Meditation also offers balance in one’s life and encourages healthier choices such as regular sleep and eating well.
When participating in meditation in nature, the additional benefits could offer: exposure to fresh air, connection to greater power, and the sensation of the elements. On the other hand, creating space indoors offers a peaceful space of reflection that can be filled with items that bring the person joy. Utilizing certain musical backgrounds can alter the meditation experience as well.
Benefits experienced by each individual may vary. However, the use of meditation to prevent relapse as well as cope with mental health disorders is proven to be advantageous. Supporting one’s ability to cope with stress, reduce heart rate, promote better sleep habits, and offer a sense of overall well-being or balance, have all been linked to meditation.
Using Meditation for Relapse Prevention
Many recovery programs encourage meditation as a form of relapse prevention because of the multitude of positive benefits it has on one’s physical and mental health. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recommends meditation as a leading form of self-care, meaning it is one of the leading ways to ensure someone is focusing on their personal well-being.
More recently, the VA shared the impact it has on one’s substance abuse recovery program. Describing meditation as a relapse prevention strategy that can be utilized as a solid positive coping strategy, it generally promotes an overall sense of balance and well-being.
How Destiny Recovery Center Uses Meditation
Incorporated into our residential treatment program, Destiny Recovery Center uses meditation to support healing in early recovery. Offering meditation for those of all experience levels, one can find utilizing this as a new strategy to cope with stress, calm the mind, and welcome change.
Additionally, beginners may find their heart rate decreases back to a normal pace. They may find their muscles that were once tight with anxiety begin to relax, and their sense of urgency reduces. Many discover meditation to be a useful strategy for their personal recovery. Destiny Recovery Center will also support incorporating meditation into the client’s aftercare program as a part of their relapse prevention plan.
Trying new activities in early recovery can be exciting. While possibly intimidating at times, exploring activities one once participated in before their substance use disorder (SUD) can be rewarding. Being in a small group of trusted peers is a perfect way to experiment with practices such as meditation.
Residential treatment can also help individuals explore what will work best for them long term. In residential treatment, they can spend time with others in the program and learn how to use meditation as a strategy to reduce stress. This will also support sobriety and will allow one to feel more confident in using meditation later when a trigger arises.
Resources for Relapse Prevention
Meditation will not work for everyone. It is not a one-size fits all practice. For additional strategies for relapse prevention, seeking out a mentor or sponsor is always the preferred method. Someone’s sponsor most likely knows more about them, their triggers, their personality, and what motivates them better than anyone else. A sponsor will be able to suggest ideas that will work for that specific person more accurately.
Counselors, residential treatment staff, and peers are resources that have a strong grasp of relapse prevention strategies and most often have experience using them. When someone has tried something and can attest to its benefit, one is more likely to be eager to try it.
To locate relapse prevention strategies, one may seek out the literature for their recovery program. SMART Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Celebrate Recovery all include relapse prevention within their programs that are specific to their practices. Many, however, overlap across the programs as they are not specific to a certain group or affiliation. The main goal is for everyone to be successful in continuing their sobriety.
Meditation offers a variety of benefits for self-care, mental health, and general overall well-being. For those living in recovery, meditation may be used as a solid tactic for relapse prevention. Being able to quickly identify and implement relapse prevention strategies is crucial to the success in recovery one may have. Practicing meditation routinely will not only promote long-term sobriety but offer many additional health benefits. Free from required materials, space, or time, meditation offers a simple solution for a relapse prevention technique. To find out how Destiny Recovery Center can assist you or your loved one in practicing meditation, mastering multiple relapse prevention strategies, and beginning a recovery journey, call today at (909) 413-4304.