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What are the Benefits of Meditation?

Beginning a meditation practice can be an incredibly rewarding decision. The 11th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous suggests we take up a practice of meditation as a means of achieving conscious contact with a Higher Power of our own understanding. However, there are also tremendous mental and physical health benefits that extend beyond the 12-Step program and are specifically helpful during the healing process of early recovery.

Early recovery can be a time of seemingly overwhelming stress and anxiety. It is a crucial period in our recovery, and we are often managing symptoms of post-acute withdrawal that can interfere with our ability to live happily and joyously in our sobriety. According to neuroscientist Sam Harris, in his book Waking Up, “It improves immune function, blood pressure, and cortisol levels; it reduces anxiety, depression, neuroticism, and emotional reactivity. It also leads to greater behavioral regulation and has shown promise in the treatment of addiction and eating disorders. Unsurprisingly, the practice is associated with increased subjective well-being.” Many of the symptoms that meditation can treat are symptoms that are particularly common in early sobriety.

In the crucial early stages of recovery, we are more vulnerable to stress and anxiety about the past or future. Through adhering to a recovery program of action we are working to overcome our fears, and beginning a regularly scheduled meditation practice can help us alleviate these problems by creating a shift in our perspective and reaction to life. According to Emma M. Seppälä, in a 2013 Psychology Today article entitled 20 Scientific Reasons to Start Meditating Today, “It gives you perspective: By observing your mind, you realize you don’t have to be slave to it. You realize it throws tantrums, gets grumpy, jealous, happy and sad but that it doesn’t have to run you. Meditation is quite simply mental hygiene: clear out the junk, tune your talents, and get in touch with yourself. Think about it, you shower every day and clean your body, but have you ever showered your mind? As a consequence, you’ll feel more clear and see thing with greater perspective” The changes in our ways of thinking and the boosts to our mood and sense of well-being provided by meditation can be incredibly helpful in our recovery. As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, “The quality of our life depends on the quality of our mind.”

Your life can become one of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a brighter future. At Resilient House, the highest quality behavioral and addictions specialists come together with spiritual guides and holistic experts to give you all the tools needed to achieve and maintain a life of sobriety. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431