Meditation brings up different meanings to different people; to the most part, it can be related to a period of quiet contemplation and reflection. In today’s stressful and fast paced society meditation has become very popular, with more and more individuals seeking release from stress and finding inner calm and peace.
Originally practiced by religious groups in the 1st Century, meditation has taken on many forms and evolved over time. The very first records written on meditation can be traced as far back as 1500 BCE (Before the Common Era) and were practiced within Hindu and Vedantism traditions. Early Buddhist meditation records go back as far as the 3rd Century BCE. The early forms of meditation were knows as Contemplative Concentration and were designed to assist in the path to peace and salvation in many organised religions and Spiritual groups. Today, meditation can be practiced by anyone and in solitude. You do not have to be part of a Religious or Spiritual group to reap the benefits of meditation. How this quiet and contemplative state is achieved is very much down to the individual, there are many techniques around today that can be helpful.
So, what are the benefits of Meditation and how can it help an individual in their recovery from addiction?
Individuals who suffer from addiction and mood disorders often suffer from a very busy mind. It can be hard at times to differentiate false beliefs from the truth and the mind can operate from a very fear based place. This type of thinking can trigger conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, depression and compulsive behaviours. By slowing the mind and body without the use of chemicals, all sorts of benefits can be reaped. Here are just some of the recognised and scientifically proven advantages of practicing regular meditation:
- Improved sleep and rest
- Reduced anxiety
- Increased productivity and energy levels
- Clearer thinking and improved concentration
- Strengthened immune system
- Reduction in stress
- Reduction in physical illnesses
- Increased feelings of happiness and contentment
- Increased feelings of peace and acceptance
- Increase in Serotonin levels which in turn improves mood and behaviour
- Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
- Assists in resolving stress related aches and pains such as headaches and muscle tension
- Assists in achieving emotional stability
- Decrease in craving for drugs and alcohol
The benefits of Meditation speak for themselves and are too numerous to list in their entirety. It is a simple practice that is often over looked in favour of chemically induced relaxation; however, you do not need to have previous experience or take much time out of your day to start this beneficial practise
BlueSkies does not underestimate the power of meditation and encourage all clients to participate as part of the therapeutic program. Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is enhanced by this simple daily practice. Meditation does not need to take long, only a few minutes a day can bring benefits quickly. Our therapists will guide clients in the practice of meditation, teaching simple methods that are easy to achieve and require no previous knowledge or experience
The most well-known type of meditation is Mindfulness. Mindfulness concentrates on the individual being present in the moment. This particular meditation is especially helpful to those that suffer from anxiety and stress related disorders. Regularly practiced by Buddhists, it assists in quieting the mind and helping the individual to find calm and peace within, by relaxing the body and focusing on the here and now.
Guided meditation is a helpful way of introducing meditation, and particularly appeals to those that struggle to sit still, be in the moment and shut off the internal chatter and external noise. It requires little thought and no previous knowledge or experience. It can be practiced anywhere with the use of head phones and takes the individual on a relaxing journey away from the stresses and pressures of daily living.
BlueSkies therapists will introduce clients to the regular practice of meditation, using simple methods that can be practiced and developed on leaving treatment. Daily meditation can have a huge impact on perception of life and mood. It can greatly assist the individual in the transformation of their mindset and outlook. This is why BlueSkies uses this holistic simple therapy as part of our treatment programme.