The path to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction is rough. Most recovering addicts can agree to such a statement. Rehab centers provide individuals with an arsenal of tools, which are meant to prevent relapse. Meditation is a very powerful tool, and all it requires is a little bit of time each day. It doesn’t cost money and can be used to gain a variety of benefits. There are five major ways that meditation helps with recovery.
Lower Blood Pressure
An addiction can damage the heart. Some addictions cause significantly more damage than others. For example, people who’ve been addicted to stimulants are much more likely to have heart damage than people who’ve been addicted to marijuana. A wealth of research shows meditation is capable of preventing heart disease and lowering blood pressure. However, meditation is most effective when practiced for at least 10 minutes per day. People who’re recovering from an addiction can benefit from meditation because it lowers blood pressure, which makes recovery easier to manage.
Improved Immune Functioning
Studies show that daily meditation improves the functioning of the immune system. Over time, a drug or alcohol addiction causes the immune system to become less effective. This is especially true in the case of opiate abuse. Most people don’t end an addiction with perfect health, and it’s quite common for recovering addicts to suffer a compromised immune system. Research shows that daily meditation starts to improve the immune system within two weeks of starting. A compromised immune system can make it far more difficult for an individual to recover from an addiction. When the immune system isn’t functioning properly, it’s much easier for viruses to penetrate the body. A virus can cause an individual to feel depressed and weak, which can result in relapse. By strengthening the immune system, meditation helps with recovery.
For centuries, humans have used meditation to build spirituality. It’s used as a way to connect with a higher power. Many recovering addicts use it to enhance their spiritual understanding. The beauty of meditation is that it doesn’t require a religion. It doesn’t matter how a person views the world spiritually; meditation can be used to build a strong sense of spirituality. Research shows that people who have a strong sense of spirituality feel better connected with the rest of the world, and it’s much easier for them to enjoy the mysteries and pleasures of life. Recovering addicts are less likely to relapse if they feel a connection to a higher power, which means they have a strong sense of spirituality.
Meditation Improves Compassion and Empathy
An addiction can cause an individual to lose his or her sense of empathy and compassion. At the core, addictions are very selfish, so they cause many problems with relationships. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, he or she will have problems with loved ones. The good news is that relationships can be rebuilt, and meditation is one of the first steps of the process. Research shows that meditation improves a person’s sense of compassion and empathy, so he or she is able to become empathetic, compassionate and generous. A lack of empathy for others is what leads many to addiction initially. A person who is able to relate to others is far less likely to return to drugs or alcohol. A number of recent brain scans show how meditation improves empathy. This is another reason why meditation is such a powerful tool for addiction recovery.
There is plenty of research that shows many individuals turn to drugs or alcohol because they don’t know how to handle stress. Studies show a link between stress and drug use. Fortunately, meditation is a very effective tool for reducing stress. Although it cannot remove stressors from a person’s life, meditation can reduce stress and make it easier to cope. It helps recovering addicts respond better to stress. Research shows that stress plays a major role in relapse, so it only makes sense for individuals to want to remove as much stress as possible. While stressful events trigger the sympathetic nervous system, meditation triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for reducing stress. These are the five major ways that meditation helps with recovery from drugs or alcohol.