At Fenton House, a range of treatments are used to help you overcome your addiction issues. We believe that treating the whole person is preferable to focusing solely on the illness and for that reason, we incorporate both traditional therapies and holistic alternatives into our programmes. One of the most effective treatments for healing mind, body and spirit is meditation.
Many individuals recovering from addiction feel they’ve lost touch with how their minds and bodies feel, because addiction serves as a way to numb and disconnect you from your mind and body.
Studies have observed the effect of and meditation on the fight-or-flight response, which is the body’s natural reaction to stressful and life-threatening situations. While this response is a survival mechanism, intended to save you from immediate physical danger it can also be experienced when you encounter physical stress, such as toxic relationships, or the hardships of entering recovery.
When you practice meditation on a regular basis, your cortisol levels naturally decrease. This gives your body a chance to return to homeostasis, or balance, and you experience a state called restful awareness. Restful awareness allows your body to heal, and the physical impact of the fight-or-flight response—such as elevated blood pressure, suppressed immunity, and an increased heart rate—begin to normalise. In other words, restful awareness is a state where your mind and body can begin to heal.
In order to free yourself from addiction, you need to discover what lead you down that road in the first place. Knowing ourselves and giving ourselves space to simply be brings you closer to understanding and defeating our addictions. While treatment may seem like the most difficult part of the process, it is merely one step in a life-long journey. By meditating, both during the treatment and recovery periods, you come to know yourself. Meditation keeps you honest and on track. It enables you to gauge where you are and see how far you have come. It creates an opportunity to check in with ourselves, release anything that may lead you astray, and fortifies our belief in ourselves as you move forward.
There are many benefits to using meditation in addiction recovery. It helps to improve the mind, body and spirit in many ways and can be used almost anywhere. Below are just a few of the many benefits you can expect when incorporating meditation into your rehabilitation programme:
The above is some of the many reasons meditation has become such a powerful tool in the treatment of addiction, but there are other advantages too. For example, meditation is easy to learn, which means you should be able to master the art of meditation during your rehab programme.
Your counsellor will help you to learn how to meditate during your one-to-one sessions. To improve your techniques, you can use self-help and how-to books or online resources. At Fenton House we work hard to help patients learn various meditation skills, and our mindful fitness programme forms a massive part of the recovery process for many of our patients.
Another advantage of meditation is the fact that it can be practised anywhere. It matters not where you are – if you are feeling stressed out or upset in any way, you can use meditation to help you get your feelings under control. Whether you are at home, in a friend’s house, or at work, you can take a couple of minutes to control your state of mind and lower your own response to stress.
While you are likely to learn all about meditation during treatment with Banbury Lodge, you should know that this is a practice that will become vital in your bid to maintain sobriety and avoid a relapse. Should you find yourself in a situation in the future where you are tempted to return to substance use, you can meditate for a few minutes to help you get your thoughts back on track.
As well as helping to prevent the onset of a return to addictive behaviour, meditation can also be used to reduce cravings, which will decrease the risk of relapse. Learning how to calm the mind will help you to get your thoughts together so that you can find positive alternatives to your destructive thought patterns.
Meditation is used alone or as part of our mindful fitness programme. With traditional meditation, you will be taught, for example, how to focus your thoughts as you concentrate on your movement or breathing. Mindful fitness is a method that will incorporate meditation and mindfulness techniques into exercises such as yoga or tai chi.
We believe that meditation should form a part of a comprehensive rehabilitation programme for all patients. We know that the many benefits of this practice can help you to not only achieve sobriety but also maintain it permanently.