For thousands of years, meditation has improved people’s lives in the eastern world. These cultures are very familiar with the benefits of mental and spiritual health meditation offers. Nonetheless, meditation’s advantages are still relatively new to western thinking, having arrived in our culture mainly during the 20th century.
If you’re struggling with mental health or addiction, consider the time-tested practice of meditation as part of treatment. There are many reasons to meditate, and evidence continues to gather supporting the discipline’s relevance to western medicine. You can learn more by contacting NuLife Behavioral Health. We’re available at 888.568.2057 or via online message and look forward to discussing meditation therapy with you further.
5 Reasons to Meditate
Meditation offers many benefits to those working toward improved mental health and/or freedom from addiction. Here are just five key meditation benefits to keep in mind:
1. Increased Mindfulness
Increased mindfulness and present-moment awareness are good for everyone, but especially those coping with trauma. Many trauma survivors experience painful flashbacks. Through breathing techniques, grounding practices, and other methods, mindfulness helps clients return to the present and gain freedom from flashbacks.
2. Increased Mental Capacity
Many associate meditation with “emptying the mind.” It may therefore be surprising that the practice also helps practitioners perform better in cognitive tasks. This is the case because mediation actually stimulates the frontal cortex of the brain, which is responsible for rational thought. It likewise calms the amygdala and the nervous system. This allows for deeper concentration and a greater ability to remember new information.
3. Better Sleep
Meditating for even a short period of time daily can improve sleep. Those who meditate can better cope with racing thoughts which often create insomnia. They also enjoy greater physical health, which supports a more consistent sleep cycle.
4. Improved Outcomes for Those with Mental Illness
Meditation helps practitioners generate serotonin and dopamine, chemicals associated with feeling happy and calm. At the same time, it reduces the amount of cortisol active in the brain, which decreases stress and overstimulation. This has a positive impact on those living with illnesses like anxiety and depression, which reflect an imbalance in these chemicals.
5. Better Physical Health
It may be obvious that body-based meditation styles like yoga and tai chi improve physical health. Nonetheless, even forms where practitioners are relatively still are physically beneficial. Seated meditation or guided visualization help clients breathe more deeply and consistently, thus sending oxygen to the brain. They also calm the practitioner, reducing the likelihood of stress-related illnesses like hypertension developing over time.
What to Expect from Meditation for Addiction Recovery
Meditation practice can help clients in their journeys toward freedom from substance abuse in both the short and long term. Early in recovery, meditation can significantly support clients facing cravings and other withdrawal symptoms by providing calming and mindfulness techniques.
Calming is key during this difficult period because of the nervous system hyperactivity that withdrawal often creates. Mindfulness is a game-changer during withdrawal because it teaches clients to observe their own thoughts, feelings, and sensations with detachment. This makes it easier for them to allow troubling content to pass without acting on it impulsively or becoming discouraged.
In the long run, meditation provides clients in recovery with consistency in a time that, for many, feels chaotic. Coming back to a regular meditative practice creates a focus point and helps clients strengthen their commitment to healing. Moreover, those who meditate often gain a greater ability to cope with ongoing stress. This is especially important for those who’ve undergone addiction treatment since it helps them say “no” to triggers.
Learn More About Meditation for Addiction Recovery and Mental Health by Contacting NuLife Behavioral Health Today
Could you or your loved one benefit from a meditation therapy program in Massachusetts, Illinois, Indiana, or New Jersey? If so, contact NuLife Behavioral Health today. We look forward to discussing how this powerful tool can help you achieve the healthier, happier life you deserve. Call 888.568.2057 or fill out our confidential contact form to start the conversation.