Addiction can be tough to overcome. It literally rewires parts of the brain, which takes years to reverse. In some cases, if the addiction was caused by an already existing mental illness, as a way of self-treating the problem, then the addict may take up drug again in an effort to cope.
It takes a lot of willpower for the addict to not go back to using. This is why treatment centers exist. They contain experts who know how to help. There’s something else at play here, too – meditation. This is the newest treatment that many centers offer. Studies have shown that meditation really can help with addiction. Here’s how.
1) It Calms the Mind
Meditation has a calming effect on the mind and body. This is why many people with anxiety are instructed to meditate. In addicts, at times the synapses of their brain cause it to go into overdrive, leading to anxiety. In fact, this is one of the most common side effects of addiction treatment – people end up with anxiety because they are afraid of being sober in the world. Meditation can calm them down and alleviate this anxiety.
2) Meditation Targets the Same Brainwaves as Addiction Treatments
Studies have shown that a certain pattern of brainwaves appears in people who are undergoing drug addiction treatment. These brainwaves are monitored as proof that the treatment is working. Similar studies have shown that meditation causes those same brainwave patterns to emerge.
This means that it is a very effective drug addiction treatment. If the person learns how to meditate properly while in rehab, then they have a better chance of remaining clean and sober as long as they continue that practice afterward.
3) It Can Give You a Natural High
Meditation provides a natural high – a happy, calm feeling. This is something that many addicts need because they previously spent their time chasing it with drugs. In a way, meditation can make them feel the same way that they did while on drugs, only in a healthier manner, because meditation didn’t cost anything, isn’t illegal, and won’t harm the body.
An addiction to meditation can be a good thing, as long as it doesn’t take over your life, much like the drugs did. If you meditate every time that you want to use, then eventually things will get better.
4) Meditation Adds Dopamine to the Brain
Dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain is what leads to drug addiction. Every time you use your drug of choice, your dopamine levels will rise, making you feel happy and satisfied. Once the drugs wear off, you want to feel that way again, so you use them. This is the main way that addiction works. When it’s done right, meditation adds dopamine to the brain. It can produce the same feeling as the drugs, but it’s much less harmful to you. This is why meditation can help you overcome addiction. You won’t need drugs when you have meditation.
5) It Can Keep You from Acting on Your Urges
Many people with a drug addiction simply act on their urges. They don’t know how to stop doing this. Those urges tell them to use drugs again and again and do other harmful things to their bodies. Meditation can stop this in its tracks. It will keep you feeling calm so that you don’t follow through on those urges and in some cases, it will do away with them altogether. You won’t go back to drugs, because those urges are gone.
6) Meditation Makes You Immune to Stress
Stress and drug use go hand in hand. In fact, stress is a major cause of many health issues – with drugs being the worst of them. We’ve already mentioned the calming effect of meditation several times, and need to emphasize it here. The number one way of dealing with stress, making is dissipate, it by calming down. If you learn how to meditate properly, you’ll feel less stressed (plus you can actually meditate when stressed, taking care of the problem) and you won’t need to turn to drugs in order to cope with the problem.
7) It Can Help Get to the Causes of Addiction
Addiction is caused by many different things. In some cases, it’s an undiagnosed mental illness. In others, it’s an addictive personality or genetic predisposition to becoming addicted. The cause might be something else as well.
No matter what, meditation can help you get to those causes and work through them. The practice is designed to be calming and centering, with a focus on the mind. If you can find the exact causes of your addiction, then you’ll be able to deal with them in a healthy manner. You’re much less likely to go back to drugs once you do.
Author Bio –
This article is written by Peter Jones promoting Lanna Rehab, a holistic addiction treatment center in Thailand.