Meditation has been used for thousands of years as both a spiritual practice and according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, meditation is a mind-body activity intended to promote calm and relaxation and help people cope with illnesses and improve well-being.
In this blog post we cover the benefits of five different meditations for recovery, along with samples that you can plug in and begin your meditation practice.
1. Breathing Meditation
Breathing meditation is a straightforward practice which asks you to bring your attention to your breath and focus on the sensations within the body.
Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange — that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. Not surprisingly, it can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure. (Source)
Without even realizing it we as humans tend to go through our days utilizing only a fraction of our diaphragm which can trigger a stress response from our bodies. Breathing meditation balances the mind and body to a place of eliciting the relaxation response.
Recommended Breathing Meditation HERE.
2. Guided Meditation
Guided meditation is when a facilitator guides you through a step by step visualization process. These mediations are very beneficial for those who find their mind wandering during breath meditation or silent meditation.
This style of mediation allows the subject to explore what they are feeling and bring these to the surface in order to heal.
Guided meditation is excellent for beginners because you are given a road map by the facilitator and can also choose meditations based on a personal goal such as relaxation, peace, or clarity.
Recommended Guided Meditation HERE.
3. Mantra Meditation
Mantra meditation is prominent in many teachings, including Hindu and Buddhist traditions. This type of meditation uses repetitive sounds to clear the mind. In popular culture “Om” is recognized under this category of meditation, however it can be any mantra that helps you.
Repeating a phrase over and over gives the mind a chance to relax and allows you to tune in to your environment and focus on deepening awareness. This practice is great for beginners as it promotes concentration and allows you to choose a mantra based on how you want to feel:
“My life is full of joy” or “I am calm and at peace”
“According to 2017 research, chanting certain mantras may stimulate these changes, since chanting can help synchronize the left and right sides of the brain and promote relaxing (alpha) brain waves. This synchronization may help improve brain function over time and possibly slow cognitive decline.” (Source)
Recommended Mantra Meditation HERE.
4. Moving Meditation
Moving meditation is a meditative state – a shift of consciousness – while doing simple movements. It is a way of calming the mind and creating awareness. Meditation is typically associated with stillness, lying or sitting in a comfortable posture with the focus on the breath. Yet, movement can also provide a path to contemplation. (Source)
Some may not be able to sit still, especially in early recovery. So moving mediation in the form of yoga and walking can be extremely beneficial to get started. Moving Mediation is perfect for those who find that they are most at peace in action versus still.
Some alternatives to traditional mediation include: hiking, coloring, dancing, stand up paddling/surfing, music practice, nonjudgmental awareness, yoga, tai chi, and swimming.
Recommended Moving Meditation HERE.
5. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation originates from Buddhist teachings and is the most popular meditation technique in the West. In mindfulness meditation, you pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t judge the thoughts or become involved with them. You simply observe and take note of any patterns.
This type of meditation is great for people who prefer to meditate alone without a teacher or group. It may be helpful to focus on an object or listen to music as a way to hone in concentration.
The practice of mindful meditation also allows individuals to be more mindful in everyday activities, resulting in a more present existence.
Recommended Mindfulness Meditation HERE.
The benefits of a meditation practice include reduced stress, emotional balance, increased focus, reduced pain, reduced anxiety, increased creativity, reduced depression, and increased memory.
Particularly for substance abuse recovery, mediation has been shown to promote feelings of well being in recovery and reduced rate of relapse due to higher levels of awareness.
Wherever you are in your recovery journey, at Herren Wellness we believe that holistic tools such as meditation are key to living a fulfilled life in recovery.
About Herren Wellness
Herren Wellness is a thriving community of people at all stages of their recovery journey. We introduce healthy habits and routines centered around emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness that provide a solid foundation for rediscovering your interests, experiencing joy in sobriety, and building structure and routine.
We provide several alumni support communities, including a weekly recovery support group, monthly alumni meeting, and online alumni community you can access anytime. Your connection to Herren Wellness doesn’t end when your stay ends; we are there for you throughout your recovery journey.
If you, or a loved one, are looking for help, please call us at (844) 443-7736, email us at email@example.com, or fill out a contact form. You are not alone.