Other Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness in Recovery

Does Meditation for Addiction Recovery Work?

When people think of meditation, they likely think of New Age hippies or Buddhist monks. The fact is that meditation can benefit anyone. The best part about it? It’s a free tool that individuals can use to aid them in their addiction recovery journeys. Meditation for addiction recovery has proven to be successful through different recovery programs. For example, meditation is used during Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.). 

Contrary to what many may believe, meditation is more than clearing your head. Instead, it focuses on the practice of being mindful of one’s thoughts, while instilling people with the ability to stay calm in heated moments. Hence, meditation during and after addiction treatment can be a great form of self-care

Meditation can also act as a great skill to have while in addiction recovery. In fact, meditation can help people achieve long-lasting sobriety. 

What is Meditation? 

Meditation is the practice of focusing one’s attention and putting oneself in a calm state of mind. Thus, during meditation, it’s important to redirect any thoughts that don’t serve you. 

To meditate on a concept means to deeply think about a topic. The sole concept of meditation is to, through deep thinking and focus, release any emotions that don’t serve a purpose. 

In short, meditation helps people have a stable mind to work with. For example, meditating can be the act of clearing all thoughts and focusing on keeping the mind that way. It can also look like conjuring up peaceful imagery, like a peaceful beach. 

Meditation can even include practices like passing an imaginary light from the top of the body to the bottom. It can take many forms, and for this reason, can serve many purposes. 

What is Guided Meditation?

What is Guided Meditation? 

Guided meditation is when a person (typically an expert in meditation) guides another person through achieving a calm sense of focus. Choosing to do a guided meditation versus meditating alone can actually help people that are new to meditating better maintain concentration. While guided meditation is great for people that are just starting out in the practice of meditation, it’s also still effective for those who already have experience. 

Guided meditations often have a purpose, such as releasing stress, anger, or trauma. The series of instructions that are provided to guided meditation participants will help soothe their minds. It will also help focus the participants’ thoughts on positive purposes. 

Instead of relying on one’s own brain, guided meditation instructions offer a voice to pay attention to. The mind often wanders during meditation. Guided meditation can act as a reminder to maintain concentration. 

What Does Meditation for Addiction Recovery Mean? 

As said before, meditation has an overall goal of achieving a calm state of mind. By having a calm state of mind, individuals that meditate can master their own minds. That said, each form of meditation can serve a different purpose within the grand scheme of things. 

For instance, meditation for addiction recovery helps people that are struggling with substance use disorders release any trapped emotional trauma that they are struggling with that may trigger their desire to use substances. Additionally, meditation can help people with substance use disorders redirect any thoughts that could push them to consume drugs and alcohol. 

Many treatment centers, like Sana Lake Recovery Center, may offer guided meditation for addiction recovery as a form of holistic treatment. Holistic forms of addiction treatment focus on the body, mind, and spirit. While some may be quick to dismiss the practice of holistic treatment, we here at Sana Lake Recovery Center incorporate it into our otherwise evidence-based programs. 

Instructors of meditations for addiction recovery are skilled in letting rehab members form a closer bond with themselves. Guided meditation also allows individuals to embrace self-love and compassion for others to the fullest. This is beneficial for individuals in addiction treatment as many of them struggle with loving themselves and thus, others. 

A.A. and Meditation for Addiction Recovery 

Strict medical treatment for addiction can only help individuals so much. Ultimately, long-lasting recovery involves a sound mind, body, and soul. One of the most widely-known support groups for individuals with alcohol use disorders is Alcoholics Anonymous, otherwise known as A.A. Part of what makes A.A. groups so successful in their treatment of individuals with alcohol use disorders is their use of holistic practices such as meditation. 

The literature that holds the basis of A.A. is called The Big Book. In The Big Book, there are 12 steps that help individuals overcome their addictions to alcohol from start to finish. The eleventh step in the book is as follows: 

“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

This step asks individuals to meditate with the intention of being more conscious as a whole. While the step says God, individuals can meditate on the faith they have in themselves to remain sober. In short, this step means to clear the mind of thoughts that don’t serve a purpose regularly and opt to direct thoughts to a peaceful state of mind. 

Does Meditation for Addiction Recovery Work? 

Does Meditation for Addiction Recovery Work?

A.A. isn’t the only addiction treatment or recovery program that utilizes meditation. For example, Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT), also uses guided meditation to help patients overcome trauma. 

There is a clear reason why multiple, successful addiction treatment and recovery programs, such as RRT or A.A., incorporate meditation in their practices. It’s because meditation works. 

The American Counseling Association writes in one of its journals that individuals that struggle with substance use disorders will have to deal with difficult situations. It’s because of this fact that addiction treatment programs focus on giving their patients healthy ways to cope with any negative thoughts and emotions that come up when they’re in the face of these unpleasant situations. Meditation helps people in addiction recovery consistently practice the skill of keeping a calm, positive state of mind even in hard times. 

The Facts Behind Recovery Meditation 

The Harvard Gazette writes about researchers who were interested in finding tangible evidence that meditation works. These researchers examined individuals who learned how to meditate properly through an 8-week course. After the course was over, the researchers measured the participants’ responses to emotional imagery through an fMRI. 

An fMRI measures brain activity, unlike a regular MRI. Individuals who didn’t take the 8-week course had much more brain activity in the portion of the brain that deals with emotional memories. The participants of the meditation class, on the other hand, had much less brain activity in this portion of their brain when shown the same imagery. This means that individuals that meditate will have a less emotional response to traumatic memories. 

This finding is highly beneficial for individuals that are in addiction recovery, as they are often faced with situations that can trigger their emotions and cause them to use substances again. In fact, according to the Harvard Gazette, meditation can be just as effective as other forms of addiction treatment. 

How To Start Practicing Meditation While in Addiction Recovery 

Instructors at an addiction treatment facility can properly show individuals how to use meditation to aid recovery. That said, you don’t need a teacher per se to get started with meditation for substance use disorder recovery. The style and underlying intention of a mediation can be curated to each individual. Hence, there is a form of meditation suited for everyone. 

Mindfulness and Breathing 

Mindfulness and breathing techniques are at the core of every successful meditation. To make the most out of mindfulness and breathing techniques, find a quiet, relaxing space to begin meditating. You can either lie down or sit up straight, just make sure the body is in a straight line. From there, you can keep your eyes open without focus or close your eyes. 

Sometimes it’s best to start with unfocused, open eyes, and then progress to closing the eyes. The main goal of this form of meditation is to clear the mind without giving too much notice to the thoughts that bubble up. 

It’s very likely thoughts will arise as you concentrate on clearing your mind. Instead of paying attention to these thoughts though, acknowledge them and then allow them to float away like boats on a river. 

It can be helpful to focus on breathing or on a word that holds no significance (like “the”) during this form of meditation. You can then move on to breathing exercises. 

Work on taking deep, slow breaths and focusing on the overall sensation. If any unwanted thoughts bubble to the surface, return your focus to breathing. 

Moving Meditation

You don’t have to stay still to practice meditation. There are different forms of moving meditation that can also help individuals reach a constant, calm state of mind. One of the most popular forms of moving meditation is yoga. 

The same techniques applied in stationary meditation can be applied to moving forms of meditation. Moving meditation can be particularly beneficial for individuals that are new to meditation as it gives them something physical to focus on while meditating. This, in turn, will help people turn their attention away from their own mental chatter. 

Other Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness in Recovery 

Meditation for Addiction Recovery

Meditation can not only help individuals in addiction treatment or recovery from substance use disorders, but it can help soothe the mental anguish of co-occurring disorders as well. Many people that struggle with substance use disorders also suffer from mental illnesses. In fact, it’s often the mental illness that triggered people’s desire to first start misusing substances in the first place. Meditation can help individuals that suffer from co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders release the emotional bonds that shackle them to their illnesses. 

Moving meditation allows individuals to engage in physical activity. Exercise is known to boost both mood and self-confidence. Meditation can even help individuals sleep better. This is just another benefit that can help improve the lives and well-being of people in addiction treatment and recovery. 

Guided Meditation for Addiction at Sana Lake Recovery Center 

No addiction treatment plan would be complete without complementary therapies. Here at Sana Lake Recovery Center, we believe in the power of meditation and constant mindfulness. For this reason, we offer a variety of holistic treatments to our members to help them during addiction treatment and long after. Contact us today to see how our programs can offer you peace of mind and freedom from addiction. 

References: 

Biosound Therapy

What Is Biosound Therapy for Addiction Treatment?

If you are suffering from an addiction to cocaine or prescription medications, there are a range of treatments at your disposal. The main treatments available for addiction include inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment, and detox. There are also some alternative treatments and therapies that can help you overcome addiction. 

One such treatment is biosound therapy, which uses sounds and vibrations to assist with treatment. 

What Is Biosound Therapy?

This is a type of addiction therapy that aims to make you feel calm and relaxed. Furthermore, the therapy works by syncing audio frequencies with different physical vibrations. The point of the therapy is to help the individual experience feelings of safety and comfort. While biosound therapy is ongoing, the patient sits in a unique chair that sends vibrations throughout the body. 

Over time, relaxation is induced before binaural audio is sent through headphones. This audio mirrors the brain waves that trigger when someone relaxes.

The biosound experience is something that you can hear and feel at the same time. If the therapy is successful, your heartbeat and cortisol levels will drop. As a result, your stress levels should lessen significantly. 

While this therapy commonly treats depression and anxiety, it also treats addiction to drugs and alcohol. 

The many treatments given during biosound therapy include:

  • Guided imagery
  • Vibrational massage
  • Therapeutic music
  • Sound frequencies
  • Biofeedback

How Is Biosound Therapy Used in Addiction Treatment?

biosound therapy for addiction

This therapy can reduce stress, anxiety, boredom, and depression, all of which are triggers for substance abuse.

To understand the benefits of biosound therapy for drug addiction, it’s important to look at how addiction occurs. There are many factors that trigger substance abuse in a person. These factors include everything from stress to the presence of a mental health condition. Moreover, these triggers can cause the patient to relapse when they stop using drugs or alcohol.

During therapy, a vibrating blanket and foam cushions help to produce sounds and vibrations. These stimuli then sync to the brain to deliver effective results. Keep in mind that this therapy is at its most effective when paired with other addiction treatments. 

The point of addiction treatment is to help the patient understand their addiction and manage the cravings that come with it. If stress and anxiety are your triggers for substance abuse, biosound therapy for addiction treatment can help you manage these triggers.

Additional Addiction Treatment Combinations

Many treatment facilities use this therapy alongside holistic therapy and meditation. In fact, combining these treatments makes it much more likely that the patient will avoid relapse. If you or a loved one believes that biosound therapy is the way to go, make sure that you consider all of your options. In many cases, you can choose between inpatient therapy and outpatient treatment. 

Outpatient vs. Inpatient Treatment

The main difference between outpatient treatment and inpatient rehab is the level of commitment. When a person enrolls into an inpatient rehab program, they remain at the facility 24/7 until the program is over. As such, they are in a drug-free environment, which makes relapse less likely. Whether the patient seeks outpatient treatment or inpatient rehab, the treatment begins with detoxification. This process is medically assisted to ensure that withdrawal symptoms aren’t too severe.

Once detox is over, group therapy and individual counseling begin. It’s during this phase of treatment that the patient receives biosound therapy. By inducing relaxation and a sense of calmness, it’s easier for the patient to manage their cravings. The duration of a treatment program depends on many factors, the primary of which is the severity of the addiction.

An addiction treatment program can last anywhere from one month to more than one year.

How Does the Body React to Sounds and Vibrations?

Sounds can affect the entire body. While a loud sound can frighten, a soft and melodic sound can relax a person. Movies and television shows commonly use sounds to induce different emotions. 

What this therapy understands is that sound causes changes to the brain that can bring about specific mood and emotional changes. Furthermore, beats and vibrations influence the way a person thinks or feels, which is why this therapy is effective during addiction treatment.

This therapy takes numerous frequency waves into account when determining the best course of action.

The five primary brain waves include:

Outpatient vs. Inpatient Treatment
  • Gamma – At least 30 Hz
  • Beta – Between 12-30 Hz
  • Alpha – Between 8-12 Hz
  • Theta – Between 4-8 Hz
  • Delta – Between 0.1-3.5 Hz

The body reacts positively to low-frequency vibrations. As a result, the patient experiences relaxation and a greater sense of calm. On the other hand, high-frequency vibrations induce heightened heart rates and improved concentration.

How Biosound Therapy Uses Frequency Waves

During biosound therapy for addiction treatment, binaural beats induce a theta-level meditative state. What this means is that the therapy only uses the lowest frequencies during treatment. When someone is awake and active, they experience beta and gamma frequency waves. If the individual is relaxing while awake, the frequency waves may decrease to the alpha frequencies. In fact, alpha waves are common when performing repetitive tasks.

When a person goes to sleep, their brain switches over to a lower frequency, which is commonly a theta frequency. In this state, the brain is susceptible to positive affirmations and physical suggestions. Delta frequencies only occur during deep sleep, which is why these frequencies aren’t possible to achieve during therapy. However, the therapy works by altering the natural progression of frequency waves that occurs throughout the day. By creating rhythmic patterns of sound and vibrations, the patient’s nervous system and body are synchronized.

When the patient enters a state of theta, the relaxation they experience allows the body to recover. The positive affirmations help combat addiction by adjusting negative thinking patterns. Over time, the patient should learn how to lead a more positive life that aids in long-term recovery.

What Are the Benefits of Biosound Therapy?

There are many different benefits that occur when a patient receives this therapy. For one, the body and mind are able to relax, which breaks cycles of self-doubt and negative thoughts. Keep in mind that depression and anxiety influence addiction, which means that treating these issues bolsters addiction treatment. 

While each patient receives numerous therapy sessions, the therapy can prove effective after just one session. During an addiction treatment program, this therapy helps patients manage their emotions. If past negative thoughts have led to harmful behaviors and drug use, eliminating these thoughts with biosound therapies can be helpful.

When is Biosound Therapy Most Beneficial During Addiction Treatment?

Benefits of Biosound Therapy

While these therapies are common during individual counseling, they are also beneficial during detoxification. It’s typical for patients to receive medications that ease withdrawal symptoms

However, these medications have their own side effects. When a patient wants to avoid taking medication during recovery, it’s possible for this therapy to provide relief. For instance, vibrational sound therapy could relax the individual, which may provide them with some pain relief. 

Keep in mind that fast pain relief equates to a shorter time in detox.

Following a biofeedback session, the patient can undergo music therapy. The benefits of music therapy can include better healing and a state of relaxation while treatment is ongoing. 

Meditation is also much easier during music therapy. As mentioned previously, this therapy is very effective as a treatment for depression, anxiety, and withdrawal symptoms. If a patient wants to recover without constantly worrying about relapse, biosound therapy is an excellent solution.

Can This Form of Therapy Also Be Used to Treat Mental Health?

Mental health is a common concern for patients who are recovering from addiction. In fact, most treatment centers offer programs for co-occurring mental disorders. These programs treat both addiction and mental health disorders. 

This is especially important as in many instances, the mental health disorder was a trigger for the substance use disorder. Some of the more common mental health concerns that this therapy treats include:

The effectiveness of this therapy depends mainly on the severity of the mental health disorder. At the very least, the therapy will relax and calm the individual, which can help them manage their symptoms. For patients who suffer from a co-occurring disorder, the withdrawal symptoms can be serious during detox. This therapy may be the answer in mitigating these symptoms and allowing the patient to continue to additional treatments.

Learn More about Biosound Therapy for Addiction Treatment 

Biosound therapy can offer many benefits to a well-rounded addiction treatment program. Our team of professionals at Sana Lake can help you or a loved one develop a more complete treatment plan. Our team focuses on each individual member’s Recovery for Life. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance use disorder, it’s important that you seek treatment before the side effects worsen. Contact us today to find out which treatments are right for you.

Remaining Sober

Coping Skills in Sobriety: How Can I Reduce Anxiety?

Overcoming a crippling addiction can be a very difficult and rocky journey. Oftentimes, those recovering from addiction may feel the mental symptoms of sobriety, specifically anxiety. Unfortunately, sobriety and anxiety go hand-in-hand and it can be very tough to manage both. This is one of the reasons why many people turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with their anxiety. Luckily, there are effective and safe ways of recovering from anxiety while practicing sobriety. 

Sobriety and anxiety can be a potentially dangerous situation due to the chance of relapse. Some people may have urges to turn back to drugs or alcohol to cope with their anxiety. However, this only ends up making the situation worse as time goes on. There are several coping skills to reduce anxiety while staying clear of drugs and alcohol. Practicing these tips can be an excellent way of keeping a clear head while recovering from anxiety. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, Sana Lake is here to help. We offer comprehensive treatment for you and your family. The first step towards sobriety is getting professional and trusted help for you or a loved one. It is time to start your journey towards a better and brighter life. 

The Importance of Preventing Relapse During Sobriety

Recovering from anxiety and addiction can both be shaky endeavors. However, there are many ways you or a loved one can reduce anxiety and focus on remaining clean. Unfortunately, many people relapse due to the stress caused by anxiety, cravings, and other reasons. Without the proper tools, a person may have a strong urge to turn to drugs or alcohol again. Using drugs again and returning to old habits after recovery is considered relapsing.  

During sobriety, there will be moments where situations trigger your anxiety and urge to use again. Anxiety can be triggered by many different things, big or small. Some of the more common trigger to a person’s anxiety include:

  • Isolation/loneliness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • New environments and surrounds
  • Starting a new career
  • Meeting new people

It is completely normal to feel this way but it’s important to have the right coping skills to reduce anxiety. While it may feel like a juggling act to handle both sobriety and anxiety, it is completely possible and achievable with the right techniques. Early recovery can also be shaky but practicing these coping skills to reduce anxiety can make a world a difference for long-term sobriety. 

Coping Skills in Sobriety

Coping Skills to Reduce Anxiety

Luckily, there are plenty of tips and skills that can be used while recovering from anxiety during sobriety. It is important to try these strategies when you feel anxious or hopeless. No matter what happens, having a set of tools and strategies at your fingertips can mean the difference between staying sober and relapsing. Something as simple as a hobby or a distraction can be a game-changer for sobriety and anxiety. Let’s take a look at some coping methods for your anxiety. 

Utilize Healthy Distractions

Sometimes a healthy distraction can be all that’s needed to take your mind off your anxiety for the time being. There are many different tasks and activities that you can do to keep your mind and body active (and away from drug use). Both your sobriety and anxiety can benefit from healthy distractions. One of the reasons why distractions can help you cope with your anxiety is they give off healthy endorphins and rewarding experiences. Reading a good book, writing in a journal, listening to music or a podcast, attending a local play, or drawing are all healthy distractions. 

Recovering from anxiety is not easy but having healthy and positive distractions can help you escape and be creative. Exercise is another big help when it comes to sobriety and anxiety. Going out for a jog or hitting the gym can be super beneficial and positive distractions. With all this in mind, it’s crucial to not ignore or avoid your anxiety. You should be aware of your anxiety and be open to talking about it as well. 

Talk to Someone

While some may find it embarrassing to speak out about their mental state, it is crucial to recovering from anxiety. Pushing back anxiety in your mind and letting it grow/fester can be a recipe for disaster. This only helps avoid the issue and can become extremely risky when dealing with both sobriety and anxiety. Talk to someone about your feelings and anxieties. No matter how trivial or silly your worries may appear to be, don’t hesitate to open up.

Speaking up about what’s making you anxious helps you recognize it and gives a voice to it. It makes it more manageable while you receive advice. You can speak to a friend, parent, sibling, or even a therapist. Being open and honest about your anxieties can help you cope with them in the process. Don’t be afraid to talk about your sobriety and anxiety struggles, nobody is perfect. 

Try Meditation

We’ve all heard of meditation but many don’t realize the great effects it can have on a person’s mind and body. Meditation seems simple enough yet can have massive impacts on a person’s sobriety and anxiety. Meditation can be done anywhere with anything (somewhere you feel comfortable) – on the floor, with or without background noise, in the morning or the evening. There are also many different phone apps and resources to help you get started. 

Meditation helps a person clear their thoughts and truly focus on their body/mind on a spiritual level. This can help a person cope with anxiety and clear their mind, even just for a minute in their day. It’s highly recommended to get into a routine of meditating every day if you can. This can help you tackle the day with a fresh and clear mind. 

Reduce Anxiety

Get in the Habit of Exercising 

Returning to the topic of healthy distractions, exercise is an extremely powerful tool for recovering from anxiety. Exercise is not only very beneficial for your physical health and well being but it’s also great for the mind. Exercise is proven to reduce stress and make you feel better. Whenever you feel that your anxiety is acting up or those urges are appearing, go for a 20-minute jog. 

Additionally, getting your heart pumping can do wonders for both sobriety and anxiety. Create a healthy routine and go at your own pace when you get the chance. There are so many benefits to experience including reduced stress, better sleep, a healthier mind, a strong heart, etc. 

Yoga

Yoga is in this same realm of meditation and can help you cope with life’s stresses and anxieties. Yoga can also include meditation as well. Yoga is a combination of stretching, chants, and other soothing techniques in the process. In the same vein as addiction treatment, there is also a 12-step recovery version of yoga. This mixes the practice of yoga with some of the 12 steps/recovery techniques. Yoga can be a great way to aid in sobriety and anxiety coping skills. 

Try Grounding Techniques/Exercises

Sometimes life’s stresses can pile up and take a toll on our bodies and minds. Along with practicing the tips above you can also try grounding exercises. Grounded exercises help a person acknowledge their senses and surroundings so they can think clearly. One of the more commonly used grounding exercises includes counting down from 5 (5-4-3-2-1). This technique can help you with coping and recovering from anxiety.

Let’s take a closer look at this exercise. Starting from 5, you acknowledge five objects or things around you (ones you can see). Moving onto 4, acknowledge four things you can physically touch. Next, focus on three things you can hear (external sounds). Then two things you can smell. Until finally, you focus on something you can taste (a sandwich, water, coffee, orange juice, etc.). This simple exercise can help you stay grounded and out of your head. This can be the turning point of coping with your anxiety and life’s stresses. 

Practice Healthy Sleeping and Eating Habits

Recovering from anxiety takes more than the occasional jog and meditation session. A healthy body means a healthy mind in most cases. This is why it’s important to make sure you are eating healthy and getting enough sleep. These two factors have a direct impact on a person’s sobriety and anxiety. Set a strict schedule of well-balanced meals and when you go to sleep. But more than just saying you’ll do something is doing it. For you to truly use these coping skills to reduce anxiety, you must practice discipline. 

Start Your Journey at Sana Lake

Recovering from anxiety takes time and effort but it is achievable. Since both sobriety and anxiety are closely related, it’s essential to practice healthy habits to help cope with these. If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, now is the time to get help. Let Sana Lake help you towards a better, cleaner life today. Contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment options and additional resources.