Meditation is a simple but powerful technique that has many benefits for people in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. It is the practice of developing awareness of the present moment by focusing your mind. Doing this regularly improves self-control, promotes self- confidence, and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. It fosters an overall sense of well-being.
Types of Meditation
There are hundreds, possibly even thousands, of different types of meditation. Most meditation techniques can be separated into one of six different categories:
- Buddhist techniques, which include mindfulness meditation, loving-kindness meditation, Zen meditation, and Vipassana meditation
- Hindu techniques, which include mantra meditation, self-inquiry and “I Am” meditation, yogic meditation, and transcendental meditation
- Sufi techniques, which include contemplation of God, sufi breathing meditation, and sufi mantra meditation
- Chinese techniques, which include Qigong, Taoist meditations, visualization, and breathing meditation
- Guided Meditation techniques, which include guided imagery, relaxation & body scans, binaural beats, and affirmations
- Christian techniques, which include contemplative prayer, silently sitting with God, and contemplative reading
When it comes to meditation techniques, you’ll want to try different methods and find the type that works for you. Each technique offers a different way to redirect and focus your attention. Some meditation styles work best for beginners; others are better suited for more advanced practitioners.
Five Different Meditation Types for Addiction Recovery
All types of meditation are beneficial for people in addiction recovery. Here are five popular meditation techniques for you to explore.
- Mindfulness Meditation:
Mindfulness meditation is one of the most effective meditation techniques for addiction recovery, especially for those in the early stages of sobriety. This traditional style of meditation is a simple technique. By keeping your attention focused on what you are experiencing at the present moment, you learn to become aware of your feelings, thoughts, and sensations as they are happening. You experience them without judgment and without allowing thoughts of the past or future to enter your mind. By practicing mindfulness meditation, you learn how to calm your mind and body, slow down your thoughts, and release negativity.
- Breathing Meditation:
When you practice breathing meditation, your focus and attention are on your breath. As you concentrate on your inhalations and exhalations, your conscious mind has its attention on your breathing in the present moment. Some meditation types such as Qigong, Kundalini, and Zazen (Zen Meditation) have a particular method of breathing in and out. Regardless of the specific technique, all breathing meditation involves a focus on the breath. If your mind begins to wander, immediately refocus your attention back to your breathing.
- Mantra Meditation:
In mantra meditation, you choose a simple word, phrase, or sound that you repeat aloud or silently during meditation. This word or phrase is your mantra, or point of focus. You can chant, sing, hum, or speak it. Repeating your mantra helps you slow down your mind as you focus on the word. Choosing a mantra that is calming to you helps you to relax and reduces stress and anxiety. It helps you to achieve clarity and stillness. Your mantra should be something that you find uplifting and that can keep you focused.
- Transcendental Meditation:
Transcendental meditation (TM) is a natural, simple meditation technique taught by an instructor. When you practice transcendental meditation, you silently repeat a word, phrase, or sound that was personally assigned to you by your instructor. As you silently repeat your mantra, your mind and body feel a deep state of relaxation, rest, and inner peace.
- Guided Meditation:
Sometimes called visualization or guided imagery, guided meditation is a meditation technique in which you form mental images of situations or places you find relaxing. Use as many of your senses as you can in your visualization. Imagine the sights, sounds, smells, and textures. Let your imagination and the powers of your brain visualize scenery, an object, a location, an entity, or a journey. As you learn this type of meditation, you may be led through the process by a guide or counselor. As you become more comfortable with it, you will be able to practice this technique alone.
Are You Struggling with Addiction?
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, help is available. You are not alone. Addiction is a disease that can affect anyone. Call and speak to a caring professional at Anabranch Recovery Center located in Terre Haute, Indiana. We will answer your questions and help put your mind at ease. Learn how you can begin your journey on the path to recovery.
About the Author:
Terry Hurley is a retired educational professional and freelance writer with more than fifty years of experience. A former reading specialist and learning center director, Terry loved her years working with children in the educational field. She has written extensively for print and online publications specializing in education and health issues. For the last six years, her writing focus has been on addiction and mental health issues.