When you think of meditation, you might picture someone sitting cross-legged, eyes closed, and the sound of calming music in the background. However, meditation is more than just a relaxation technique. In fact, it is becoming an increasingly popular tool in addiction treatment and recovery, with growing research supporting its benefits for individuals struggling with substance use disorders and addictive behaviours. At Banbury Lodge, we have seen the benefits of meditation for addiction countless times so it has become a key element of our rehab treatment programmes.

Meditation therapy - woman meditating

What is meditation therapy?

Meditation therapy is a holistic approach to addiction counselling that uses mindfulness-based techniques to complement traditional treatments. During a meditation therapy session, your therapist will guide you through various techniques to help you achieve a state of presence which promotes greater self-awareness and relaxation. The goals of meditation therapy include reducing stress, managing addiction cravings and improving overall well-being.

Our meditation therapist explains some of the key benefits of meditation therapy for addiction:

“Meditation therapy helps to regulate your nervous system and boost your immunity while having a hugely positive effect on physical and emotional help. Meditation therapy helps reduce stress, improves sleep and focus, enables you to observe your innermost thoughts and feelings and creates a greater sense of balance and inner peace.”

What are the most effective forms of meditation for addiction treatment?

There are a number of different forms of meditation therapy that can be used during addiction treatment and your therapist may also incorporate music therapy, aromatherapy and other practices into your sessions. Three of the most effective forms of meditation for addiction treatment include:

Loving-Kindness Meditation
Loving-Kindness meditation promotes feelings of compassion and kindness towards yourself and others. By promoting feelings of self-compassion, you can reduce feelings of shame or self-blame that may be contributing to addictive behaviour. Loving-Kindness meditation can improve your emotional well-being, increase your resilience, and promote positive relationships with others, which can be crucial in addiction recovery.
Body Scan Meditation
Body scan meditation will help you to pay attention to physical sensations and bring awareness to each part of your body, from head to toe. This technique will enable you to develop a greater connection between your mind and body which can be crucial in managing cravings and withdrawal symptoms and in preventing relapse. Body scan meditation can also reduce stress, relieve physical tension and promote relaxation, which can be especially beneficial for individuals struggling with addiction.
Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool in addiction treatment that involves focusing your attention on the present moment and observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This will help you develop greater self-awareness and recognise patterns in your thoughts and actions that may lead to addictive behaviour.
As our therapist explains:
“Mindfulness meditation will increase and promote your awareness of the present moment, allowing you to find a place of peace and acceptance. This will relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety which are so common in addiction sufferers and bring a new clarity and joy of being into your life. Undergoing meditation therapy every day will also help to rewire your brain which will improve your memory, facilitate mindful behaviour, and help you build better relationships and an overall happier, healthier life.”

Using meditation therapy in conjunction with other addiction therapies

Meditation therapy is a complementary approach to traditional addiction treatment and when used in conjunction with other therapies, meditation therapy can enhance the effectiveness of the overall treatment programme.

Meditation therapy and group therapy

Meditation therapy is a great way to enhance the group therapy experience. It can help people relax and feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and emotions in a group setting, which can create stronger bonds and a greater sense of community. This can not only make group therapy sessions more constructive but also help people to feel more at ease in rehab, knowing they have the support of their peers during treatment.

Meditation therapy and DBT

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) helps individuals in addiction recovery to regulate their emotions, understand how they affect their behaviour and develop coping strategies during difficult moments. This is crucial during addiction recovery because negative emotions are so often the triggers of relapse. When used in conjunction with DBT, meditation therapy can enable you to develop greater self-awareness, identify negative emotions and realise that they don’t have to dictate your actions. This realisation can be incredibly empowering both during rehab and afterwards.

The benefits of meditation after rehab

Meditation therapy can provide many long-lasting benefits after rehab, particularly if you continue practising meditation when you return home.

Meditation can greatly improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. This is crucial for maintaining sobriety after rehab because if you feel good you are less likely to relapse.

Many people also feel anxious about re-entering their former environment or facing new challenges that may trigger addiction cravings. By using the techniques you learned in rehab such as being present through mindfulness meditation, you will be better able to manage cravings and triggers and stay on course.

Daily meditation can also help you stay in a positive headspace which will improve every area of your life from work to relationships. As learned through meditation therapy and DBT, our emotions can have a huge impact on our actions, so if you can stay positive and manage negative emotions through ongoing meditation, it can have a transformative effect on your life.

Want to know more about meditation and addiction recovery?

If you’re interested in learning more about meditation therapy and addiction recovery, contact Banbury Lodge today. Our experienced therapists can guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have. Meditation therapy is a highly effective part of our addiction recovery programmes so take the first step towards a happier, healthier life, and get in touch with us today.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to be spiritual or religious to meditate?
No, meditation is a technique that can be practised by anyone, regardless of their religious or spiritual beliefs. While some forms of meditation may have roots in certain spiritual or religious traditions, the practice of meditation itself is secular and can be adapted to suit individual preferences.
Are the benefits of meditation for addiction recovery scientifically proven?
Yes, the benefits of meditation for addiction recovery are scientifically proven. Research has shown that meditation therapy can help reduce stress, manage addiction cravings and improve overall well-being. Additionally, meditation therapy has been shown to enhance the effectiveness of traditional addiction treatments when used in conjunction with these other therapies.
Can I meditate without a therapist?
Yes, it is possible to meditate without a therapist. There are many resources available, including books, online videos and apps that can provide guidance and support for those interested in practising meditation. However, it is important to note that working with a therapist who specialises in meditation therapy can provide a more personalised and effective experience, especially for those in addiction recovery.
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