The endless chatter of the mind is one of the most difficult roadblocks in recovery.
Most addicted people rely on substance use to quiet that chatter, but sobriety brings massive challenges in coping without self-medication. Meditation is a practice that has been around for many centuries and serves a wide variety of purposes. The most common purpose is purely clearing the mind, reducing stress and anxiety, and generating self-awareness. Mindfulness can be critical to achieving and maintaining peak mental health, in particular through the early days of recovery. Having the ability to take a few minutes each day to acknowledge, accept, and connect with one’s feelings creates a remarkable opportunity for change.
Meditation takes practice, but it’s easy enough to start.
Materials for beginning your practice are readily available but the easiest way for most people to start is by using a smart phone app like Headspace, Breathe, or the aptly named Meditation. Most of these apps are free and will help you begin a meditation practice in as little as five minutes a day. People often think of meditation as a long process; however, much can be accomplished in a very small window of time. Many people find success when coupling meditation with exercise, like yoga. The physical aspect creates another focal point to keep the mind from wandering.
Patience and the willingness to be open and genuine to your inner self are the keys to a successful practice.
Gaining silence and peace of mind comes through acknowledging thoughts as they arise and then letting them go. It’s impossible to prevent passing thoughts from entering your mind, so don’t get frustrated. Starting out with guided meditations will help you learn about the practice and build the foundations necessary to do it on your own. Following the instructions of the guide will help new practitioners to focus on something and keep stray thoughts from distracting the mind. Beginners may have a preconceived notion of what meditation is, which can make it seem like a daunting task and a difficult commitment, but remember it only takes a few minutes a day to learn how to start. We can all find a spare 10 minutes in our day, why not use that time to find some peace in that moment? Start your practice today!