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Meditation Styles to Support Your Recovery

Meditation Styles to Support Your Recovery, meditation in addiction recovery

The medical community embraces meditation as a viable method to provide stress relief, improve mindfulness, boost energy, and promote better emotional, mental, and physical health. But which meditation styles best support your recovery? Whatever method resonates with you. Fortunately, meditation is easy, and there are many options to try until you find the right fit.

Meditation: What the Research Says 

The benefits of meditation differ for each person, but scientific study of the practice continues to maintain that even a mere 5 minutes a day of stillness offers many advantages:

  • Some recent research, according to Mindworks, indicates meditation helps people with chronic pain and mental health issues.
  • A 2023 study reveals positive findings regarding meditation’s impact on reducing symptoms of various autoimmune diseases, lowering “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure, and inflammation.   
  • Mindful magazine shares a roundup of research that indicates how the practice improves stress resilience, reduces cognitive decline, and works better when people are outdoors.
  • The Harvard Gazette reports that mindfulness and meditation not only helps people with anxiety but also those with depression manage these conditions more effectively.
  • Mindfulness meditation continues to be an intriguing topic for addiction science researchers as well. Some studies indicate that relapse prevention programs are more successful with this component. 

So, while it’s possible that a consistent meditation practice can induce many positive changes, it’s always a good idea to recognize it in a basic form: a few moments of focused stillness and peace every day is beneficial no matter what’s happening with you or in your life.

Meditation Styles to Support Your Recovery 

If your only exposure to meditation is someone sitting quietly on a cushion, know that that’s simply one way to approach the practice. Keep an open mind to all the different styles of meditation, and remember, it’s okay if one discipline doesn’t suit you—try another. This allows for exploration into how a certain method affects you, which ones make you feel most comfortable, and what seems easiest to maintain on a daily basis. 

The goal of meditation isn’t to stop thought, so it’s perfectly natural for your mind to wander a little during practice. A conversation from yesterday? Your grocery list? An image of your childhood dog? Some random song you heard on the way to work? Your brain is eager to move beyond all of these things, and will eventually. The point is not to dwell on fleeting thoughts, or think “Argh! If only I could stop thinking!” Each practice helps you achieve a new level of progress.

The 5-Minute Break

The core foundation of mindfulness is to dedicate a few minutes to stillness. This particular break is perfect if you’re new to meditation or have only a moment or two to refresh. 

  • Set a timer for 5 minutes so you can relax within this duration and not worry about meditating for too long.
  • Sit upright in a comfortable position, spine straight.
  • Close your eyes or soften your gaze. 
  • Follow the path of your inhale and exhale throughout your body.

Here’s a peaceful video to follow if you prefer. 

Loving Kindness Meditation

This method involves a series of phrases designed to increase acceptance, compassion, and kindness. You can follow psychologist Barbara Fredrickson’s guided sequence, or choose to silently repeat simple statements yourself. Position yourself in a quiet spot, similar to the 5-minute break. Then repeat the phrasing for loving kindness meditation, which is often something like:

May I be strong. May I have the power to accept and forgive. May I be healthy. May I be safe. May I love and appreciate others boundlessly.

Then, the phrasing changes and expands by changing “I” to “you.” Directing daily affirmational energy toward yourself, your loved ones, and even strangers might help reduce feelings of anger, anxiety, or depression.

Walking Meditation

Whenever you’re out for a stroll, apply more intentional focus to it. This moving meditation is one way to be more in touch with your mind and body.

  • Find a peaceful place indoors or outdoors that allows you to walk back and forth for up to 15 paces in each direction.
  • Place your feet deliberately on the path, heel to toe, slowly moving in one direction. Direct your awareness to how it feels to touch your heels to the surface and lift them back up again, how your body weight moves between each step, and so on. Pause and breathe at the end of your pace count.
  • Now repeat the process in the opposite direction, going back and forth for a total of 10 minutes.

Mindful magazine also suggests engaging all your senses in various ways during this time. 

Mantra Meditation

This ancient practice is often the first style of meditation people think of, and it’s a great technique. Repeating a word, sound, or short phrase during meditation helps you focus. While your mind might still wander, you can simply acknowledge the thought, then return to your mantra. Depending on how you learn to meditate, a mantra might be assigned to you or you’ll choose a word or phrase with personal meaning.

During your practice of 5 –15 minutes, with the same body posture as the 5-minute break, you simply sit quietly and silently recite your mantra. 

There are also many wonderful guided meditations to help you get started. One of the preeminent instructors is Jon Kabat-Zinn. Try his 5-minute guided practice and see what you think.

Cultivate a Sense of Calm at Fair Oaks

At Fair Oaks Recovery Center in Sacramento, California, our board-certified professionals develop effective treatment programs using evidence-based methods combined with holistic care. We understand that helping you heal fully—through mind, body, and spirit—provides greater peace in your recovery. If you or a loved one is ready to create a better future, call us today to learn how we can help.

Fair Oaks Recovery Center of california - sacramento alcohol and drug addiction treatment center

For more information about programs offered at Fair Oaks Recovery Center, including our intensive outpatient program in Sacramento, please call us today at (888) 576-0222.
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