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Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation has been practiced for centuries and is known to have many benefits. These can include advantages to both your mental and physical health. Spending a few minutes per day meditating can prepare you to better cope with the rest of the day ahead.

Meditation is encouraged in many clinical settings, and treatment facilities are no exception. With benefits such as improved mood, better sleep, increased focus, and reduced stress, there is no question why facilities choose to incorporate meditation in their programs.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation is a practice that involves evoking self-awareness and can promote mental clarity and calmness. Meditation has various forms: mindfulness meditation, movement meditation, and focused meditation, to name a few. While there are many different types of meditation, a few elements remain similar between them all.

First, and perhaps most importantly, you must have a quiet environment free of distractions and external stimuli. You must also be in a comfortable body position. This can certainly vary from person to person or by type of meditation. A few postures could include sitting, laying down, or even walking. Next, you must have a point of focus. This could be a word, phrase, or even your breath. Lastly, for any type of meditation to be effective, an open mind and attitude are a must. This allows you to explore and accept your thoughts and feelings without trying to suppress or judge them.

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is defined as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something; it has been practiced for over 2,500 years. Simply put, mindfulness is paying attention on purpose. This involves making a conscious effort to be in and aware of the present moment while welcoming your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. We are so often conditioned to filter many of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations, making practicing mindfulness require just that – practice.

Mindfulness is an important component of meditation as it prepares the mind for the experience. It involves a moment-by-moment acceptance of – and focus on – what you are thinking, feeling, and sensing from the environment around you.

Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness

The benefits of meditating and practicing mindfulness can vary from individual to individual, depending on the needs of that person. As with many methods of holistic treatment, there can be both mental and physical benefits to practicing mindfulness and meditating during treatment and recovery. Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation that can be very advantageous and can help you establish balance throughout your recovery journey.

Meditation has been said to help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Reasons for this could vary. Meditation, as mentioned above, often involves focusing on one thing, such as your breathing, throughout the exercise. Breathwork in itself has been found to ease nerves and produce a calming effect, so implementing this during meditation could certainly reduce stress and serve as a coping technique outside of practice.

Meditation has also been found to benefit the physical health of those who practice regularly. One of the main benefits studied heavily is the impact on blood pressure. As one of the most widespread, least controlled diseases worldwide, hypertension poses a threat to adults from all cultures and lifestyles. Due to its calming and stress-reducing techniques, meditation, in turn, has been shown to reduce hypertension.

Additionally, meditation has been found to help reduce insomnia and improve sleep. Specifically, sleep meditation is typically performed shortly before bed and can help calm the mind and reduce thoughts of the past or the future that may be causing sleep disturbances. Other forms of meditation, even during the day, can benefit evening sleep by reducing cortisol, the stress hormone.

Meditation and Mindfulness During Treatment

Implementing meditation and practicing mindfulness as part of treatment for substance use disorders has many benefits. In addition to the advantages listed above, such as improved sleep and reduced symptoms of stress and anxiety, meditation can aid in preventing relapse. Multiple domains of research suggest that meditation practice promotes executive functioning and cognitive control over automatic habits, especially related to repeated substance use and addiction. Studies show that meditation and mindfulness can also improve working memory and decision-making abilities among treatment recipients.

Implementing meditation and practicing mindfulness during treatment and recovery can be extremely beneficial to your experience and overall journey. Establishing good, healthy habits that provide you with tools to utilize even outside of the practice can be very helpful and aid in your success. Spending a few minutes each day focusing on the present and being intentional with your thoughts can make all the difference.

Taking a few minutes to meditate or practice mindfulness throughout your day can make a positive difference. Meditation involves intentionally becoming aware of the present and focusing on what you feel, think, and sense in that moment. You may be tasked with concentrating on your breathing or fixating on a specific word, phrase, or even object. Meditation and practicing mindfulness can have a variety of benefits. These benefits can include mental advantages such as reduced symptoms of stress and anxiety, or even improved mood. Meditation is known to have a calming effect and can help improve sleep and reduce stress as a result. Meditation can also have physical benefits and improve things such as blood pressure for some. Enlightened Solutions provides a holistic approach to treatment and encourages meditation and mindfulness as part of your recovery. If you are battling drug or alcohol addiction, contact Enlightened Solutions today

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