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5 Tips to Improve Your Meditation Practice

Meditation can be a lifesaver in early sobriety. We take a moment to wash away the external stressors of our life and examine ourselves and the world through awareness and introspection. It can be difficult to get into the habit of building a daily meditation practice, but the benefits it provides in recovery can be astounding. Here are five tips to enhance your meditation experience:

Create a Comfortable Setting

You don’t need to make any major rearrangements. Any room or corner of your house where you won’t be distracted is perfectly fine. Meditation is about relieving physical and emotional stress, so personalizing your space to make it as comfortable as possible can help the process. Remember– this space will be the last thing you see before closing your eyes and the first thing you see upon opening them, so make it as serene as possible.

Make it a Habit

Building routines is important in early recovery. Making a routine of meditating at the same time every day, in the same space, can help the process. This also helps us continue with our commitment to making a daily practice of meditation. Experiment in the beginning until you find the best time of day, then commit to meditating at that same time every day. According to The Way of Meditation, “The best times are either 20 minutes after you have woken up or an hour before you usually go to sleep. It’s also best not to meditate straight after eating because your body naturally gets tired after eating and that can detract from the clarity of meditation and make you prone to drifting into a dull sleepy state.”

Try Not to Have Any Expectations

If we begin meditating with the expectation of something happening, we will be too distracted to “let go”. Our awareness should remain only in the present moment, and expectations remove us from that. MindBodyGreen explains, “Each day is a different day full of new challenges. Let your meditation take you where it needs to. Don’t chase anything. Just watch what unfolds, and you may find new interesting subtleties in your practice, and in your life.” Trust in the process and don’t let your expectations of what should or should not happen in your meditation keep you from fully engaging with the present moment.

Limit Outside Noise

Noises can keep us from allowing ourselves to fully engage in the process. Close your door, turn off your phone or set it to vibrate, and let people know that you don’t want to be disturbed at this time. According to Jack Kornfield in his book “Meditation for Beginners”, if it isn’t possible to limit outside noises, you can do your best to incorporate them into your meditation: “When you become aware that you are listening to some noise in your environment, you can include that listening in your awareness in the same that you pay attention to the sensations in your body.”

Don’t Resist

Sri Ravi Shankar said “what you resist, persists.” Whether it be something external like noise, or something internal like a discomforting thought, acceptance is the only way to keep it from becoming more persistent. When we actively try to fight against a thought, we create an internal conflict that keeps us from being fully able to engage in the experience.

Meditation is a great way to unwind from the common stressors of early recovery. Neuroscientist Sam Harris, in his book “Waking Up”, tells us that the goal of meditation is “to uncover a form of well-being that is inherent to the nature of our minds.” Meditation reduces anxiety, fights depression, emotional instability, and is a wonderful tool to have at our disposal as we attempt to recover from addiction.

Cultivating resilience for lasting wellness, the co-ed programs offered at Resilient House on a full continuum of care provide holistic and clinical expertise for recovery. Our 50,000 square foot facility in Shreveport provides the tranquility and serenity you need to heal your mind, body, and spirit. It’s time to live. Ready, set, go: 833-CHANGE1