If you or your loved one has an alcohol addiction, there may be a simple activity that can help. You can even do it in the comfort of your own home. It can help ease the cravings for a drink. Meditation for alcohol addiction and other supplementary Mindfulness-Based Interventions are effective treatments for those suffering from alcohol addiction.
Studies show that MBIs reduce substance use and cravings by allowing a person to practice observation. By learning how to observe a craving in a non-judgmental way, you allow yourself time to let the craving pass.
Meditation and other MBIs can help you relax and control your urges.
The Practice of Meditation
If sitting alone with your thoughts makes your skin crawl, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, many people operate under the misconception that meditation is a practice of complete silence. They believe that the goal is to rid you of all thoughts.
On the contrary, MBIs focus on observing your thoughts rather than losing yourself to them.
Have you ever looked down at a cup of coffee and realized your mug was suddenly empty? This sudden absence is a moment where you were not mindful. Many meditation techniques involve sensory focus, such as appreciating the tastes and smells of that cup of coffee.
Meditation invites you to stay focused on the present rather than letting your mind wander. It helps you focus on one moment and what is happening in your body and your surroundings. This practice helps your brain rewire its impulses and teaches you to pause before giving into a habit.
Benefits of Meditation
To practice meditation, you don’t need dozens of candles and a Buddhist monk chanting in your ear.
Instead, all you need is a relatively quiet space and a few minutes to yourself. Sitting in silence or following a guided meditation from an application or video can be helpful.
Meditating for as little as minutes a day can produce results, including:
- Relieving stress
- Managing chronic pain
- Lowering heart rate
- Decreasing the risk of chronic disease
- Increasing cognitive functioning
Meditation for Alcohol Addiction
When you begin meditating, you’ll notice benefits, including a boost in productivity, increased focus, and reduced stress. All of these positive aspects will, in turn, help you gain control of your alcohol addiction.
Alcohol can be a tool to self-medicate. For example, people drink to unwind or relax after a long day. People also use alcohol to help relieve pain or uncomfortable feeling rather than working through them.
A critical component of meditation is to learn to observe our thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental way. It allows you the space to process those thoughts in a way that puts you as an observer rather than a participant.
Imagine a baseball game. Do you think the pitcher knows everything that is happening on the field? Doubtful. Then shift to the perspective of someone watching the game. Not only can you see the entire field, but you can see the small movements and decisions that each player makes.
Shifting from participant to observer gives you greater clarity during your daily decision-making processes.
Using meditation for alcohol addiction can create a shift. Rather than just going with the daily flow of life, you’ll start to live it.
Recovery is a day-to-day process, much like meditation is a moment-to-moment process. As a result, your awareness of your daily actions and reactions will shift, making you less susceptible to the draw of alcohol.
Meditation Therapy at ILC
At Integrative Life Center, meditation therapy is part of many of our recovery programs. ILC’s meditation program teaches people how to focus and control their thoughts as well as their emotions.
Our various treatment programs allow us to approach alcohol addiction in an integrative, comprehensive way. This approach enables you to heal your whole self, not just treat the symptoms.
ILC’s alcohol addiction program includes:
- Education programs
- Family involvement
- Group and individual therapy
- Psychiatric care
- Motivational interviewing
- Massage therapy
- Transitional living opportunities
Contact us to learn more about our alcohol addiction program or how meditation can help you in your recovery.