When you think of alcohol rehab, you may picture inpatient rehabilitation programs, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), outpatient detox, medication management, and group recovery meetings. These are all excellent programs to help you overcome alcohol addiction.
But have you considered practicing mindfulness and meditation for addiction recovery?
Well, you should!
While you can’t meditate addiction away, meditation and mindfulness in addiction recovery are powerful supplementary tools proven to help support your therapeutic treatment program.
And don’t shrug off the idea of mindfulness and meditation for alcohol addiction recovery because you think you have to sit cross-legged on a yoga mat and chant and hum for hours a day. No, mindfulness and meditation go far beyond what you may envision in your mind. It’s all about the mind-body connection. And it doesn’t even require a yoga mat.
What Exactly Are Mindfulness and Meditation?
While mindfulness and meditation are two separate terms, they go hand-in-hand. Mindfulness is a state of mental awareness typically used in meditation practices. Mindfulness techniques are also used in certain types of therapy modalities.
The idea of mindfulness may seem a bit ethereal, but it’s actually relatively straightforward. Mindfulness is simply the act of being fully present and aware of where you are and what you’re doing without becoming overwhelmed or reactive to what’s happening around you.
Meditation is a mind-body activity that promotes calm, relaxation, and well-being. While meditation is often used in conjunction with yoga, you absolutely don’t have to do anything of the sort when you meditate.
All that’s required is a quiet setting, focus, and not assessing any distractions and thoughts that come your way. No yoga mat is required. (Although it’s welcome if you’d like!)
Mindfulness meditation combines the two practices to help you slow down your thoughts, let go of negativity, and calm your body and mind. There are multiple ways to practice mindfulness meditation, all combining deep breathing and awareness of your body and mind. You only need a few minutes, a comfortable place to sit or lie down, and a judgment-free mindset.
Once you are well-practiced in mindfulness meditation, you can even practice while driving in your car, doing dishes, or taking the dog for a walk.
How Mindfulness and Meditation for Addiction Can Aid in Your Recovery
You may think practicing body and mind awareness in the present moment seems a little far-fetched to help you in your alcohol addiction recovery. It’s understandable to have doubts. But meditation and mindfulness for addiction recovery are excellent complementary tools for alcohol rehab and beyond.
Meditation and mindfulness are very effective when used in conjunction with other addiction treatment protocols like therapy and medication management. Addiction changes your brain in the areas responsible for attention, emotion, and behavioral regulation. And mindfulness and meditation also affect those areas and, in a way, help to balance out how your brain has changed due to addiction.
Mindfulness and meditation for addiction recovery can also help you in your recovery in the following ways:
- Stress reduction: When you learn how to develop an awareness and acceptance of the present moment, you can also let go of stressors. Through deep breathing and focus, you can calm your body and mind. And because stress often triggers alcohol cravings, reducing it is key in your recovery and preventing alcohol relapse.
- Emotional regulation: Alcohol addiction is often a co-occurring diagnosis accompanied by other mental health challenges like depression and anxiety. Because meditation and mindfulness promote self-awareness of your emotions and reactions, you can develop healthier coping skills when triggered or feeling anxious or depressed.
In other words, practicing meditation and mindfulness in addiction recovery can help you become more aware of when you want to drink and regulate the emotions triggering you in healthier ways.
- Craving management: Becoming more aware of the physical sensations in your body, emotions, and thoughts associated with cravings can help you better identify and manage them. Rather than automatically reacting as your addicted brain would have you do, meditation and mindfulness practice can help you be aware of your desire and feelings in your body.
In turn, you can use that awareness and tools developed in therapeutic treatment to manage your cravings.
- Self-compassion: A significant aspect of mindfulness and meditation is being aware of your emotions and feelings without judgment. When you struggle with alcohol addiction, you may feel shame, guilt, and self-judgment. Mindfulness and meditation combat these feelings by helping you develop an ability to identify and accept your emotions and experiences with kindness and compassion for yourself.
- Improved focus and attention: When you become addicted to alcohol, it impairs your cognitive function, focus, and attention which are crucial during the recovery process. Because regular meditation and mindfulness practices enhance mental clarity and concentration, you’ll be better equipped to engage in therapy and self-reflection and learn healthier coping mechanisms.
- Enhanced overall well-being: Meditation and mindfulness are excellent tools to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. It also promotes inner calm, contentment, and happiness. These positive attributes of meditation and mindfulness in addiction recovery can help you stay motivated and committed to sobriety.
Choosing Alcohol Treatment in San Diego to Help You Master Mindfulness and Meditation
At BOLD Health alcohol rehab in San Diego, we don’t focus solely on your alcohol addiction diagnosis and helping you recover. We focus on you. We understand you didn’t choose to become addicted. Instead, you ended up in your current situation due to the complex combination of your biological, genetic, structural, and medical underpinnings and your unique life experience.
That’s why we believe in a holistic approach to your addiction recovery. We’ll collaborate with you to help you understand what drives your addiction and the best path to recovery, tailored specifically to you.
We can help you learn and practice mindfulness and meditation for addiction as part of your treatment plan, and we’ll walk beside you every step of the way. Along with helping you become more self-aware and mindful using these practices, we’ll curate an ideal treatment program just for you.
Your alcohol treatment in San Diego at BOLD Health may include the following:
- individual therapy
- group therapy
- medication management
- intensive outpatient program enrollment (IOP in San Diego)
Using only science-backed, evidence-based treatment methods, we’ll help you work through your challenges during alcohol rehab in San Diego. We’ll also guide you in your journey to effectively integrate a healthy mindfulness and meditation practice into your life so you can continue your recovery journey far into the future.
Contact us today to learn more about our options for alcohol treatment in San Diego, including how we can help you in your meditation and mindfulness practice.