Meditation therapy is very popular and has been increasingly so in the fields of mental health, medicine and education as an effective way to manage stress, improve emotional stability, mindfulness, cognitive function and overall health. There is evidence to support that there are psychological and social benefits that come with the regular practice of meditation.
What are some of the benefits of meditating regularly? They can include improved focus and memory, increased self-esteem, enhanced brain and immune function, better relationships and a strengthened ability to prevent recurring depression and possible relapse.
A Holistic Approach
There are many individuals who struggle with alcohol abuse and substance abuse disorder, who also have co-occurring mental disorders, like Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, Anxiety and Depression. It has been suggested that those individuals with mental health disorders are more susceptible to substance abuse disorders. A holistic treatment which includes meditation therapy and other tools such as interventions can form a comprehensive approach to helping individuals cope with co-occurring symptoms. Meditation therapy has proven to be one of the most effective ways to help individuals manage difficult emotions and mood shifts related to a co-occurring mental health disorder.
Regulating Emotions through Meditation
How can meditation be described? One way is that it is the science of attention training. Meditation is the practice of bringing mindfulness back to the present moment. With regular meditation practice, individuals are less likely to experience concerning patterns and emotional distraction, and are thus less likely to relapse. Since it is not possible to predict when an emotional trigger will occur, a regular practice of meditation will provide the individual with the tools and mindfulness they need to manage emotional reactions.
Neuroscience says that whichever thoughts an individual focuses on the most are the ones that will become magnified. So when an individual spends time obsessing over stressful or worrisome thoughts, then those are the thoughts that manifest deeper in their subconscious, and they start reacting in accordance with this ‘reality’. Meditation therapy allows the individual to redirect their thinking away from such destructive patterns, and back to the present moment.
Experts have seen a significant reduction in emotion and mood disturbances when meditation therapy is combined with addiction treatment. The coping skills learned through meditation therapy makes holistic treatment a viable and effective option for long term mental health.
Meditation can be done anytime and anywhere. It is also simple to practice, and the individual can start with just a couple of minutes and then work up to longer periods. Meditation can also be squeezed into the individual’s busy day, for example:
Meditate while commuting to work on the bus or train
Take a 5 or 10-minute break at work, and find a quiet place to practice
Every evening, set aside 5-10 minutes to wind down for bed
Practice mindfulness while eating lunch, walking the dog, climbing stairs, or sipping coffee: observe smells, sounds, tastes, and other sensations while experiencing everyday activities
When meditation becomes a habit, the individual will find coping with their stressors and triggers much easier.
At Blueprints we understand that young adults may have different paths to recovery. We can offer individualized programs as well as education and counseling to get your loved one on the path to recovery.