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With regard to the latter, shifting from an addiction-oriented lifestyle to adoption of a wellness lifestyle is conceptualized as integral to the recovery model [87]. In this vein, studies should examine mindfulness not only as a technique in circumscribed interventions to prevent addiction relapse but also examine mindfulness as a long-term, sustainable health behavior that promotes addiction recovery. As a point of consideration, 12-Step programs encourage participation in regular meetings for the entirety of one’s life. Similarly, mindfulness might need to be practiced daily or nearly every day on an ongoing basis to achieve durable therapeutic effects and maintain addiction recovery, especially in view of the chronicity of addictive disorders. Yes, mindfulness has been proven to be an effective treatment for addiction recovery.

mindfulness meditation for addiction recovery

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Studies have shown that mindfulness activities can actually reshape your brain in positive ways, improving physical and mental health and promoting overall well-being. It can help tame your anxiety, provide a greater self-awareness, and help you acknowledge and cope with emotions that may not be rooted in reality. Mindfulness is a technique that helps people to stay present and aware of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. This practice has become increasingly important in addiction recovery because it can help patients to stay focused on their recovery goals and avoid relapse. In the next section, we’ll explore the power of mindful meditation in fostering inner peace and emotional stability throughout the recovery process. Research has also shown that people who practice mindful eating tend to have lower body mass indexes (BMI) than those who don t follow this method even if they click on high-calorie diets before treating addiction recovery.

Body Awareness

Buddhist recovery manuals, a genre that has emerged in the last 30 years, aim to use Buddhist ideas and practices to address the challenges of addiction. These books draw on classical Buddhist thought and Twelve-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Both of these influences share the framework of a step-wise path of transformation from a state of maladaptive compulsion to a state of freedom. This article analyzes the paths laid out by these Buddhist recovery manuals and compares them to classical Buddhist and Twelve-Step paths. This comparison demonstrates that Buddhist recovery manuals creatively draw on classical Buddhism and Twelve-Step but also differ from them in important ways as they re-imagine a path from addiction to recovery. This article documents the growing genre of Buddhist recovery manuals, thus expanding our understanding of Anglophone Buddhism and providing substance abuse professionals with a knowledge of the Buddhist recovery landscape.

Benefits of meditation

  • The first author (ELG) developed the Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) intervention, and has received income from the MORE treatment manual (Garland, 2013) and therapist trainings.
  • By being present, taking time to chew slowly and observe the taste sensations of food more fully, one learns to understand their reactions better.

For instance, Sancho et al’s16 recent systematic review raises the concern that MBI intervention effects do not seem to persist at follow-up assessment. Thus, there remains a need for more large-scale, robust RCTs to reveal the clinical outcomes and therapeutic mechanisms of MBIs for addiction. Mindfulness practice is incorporated into a variety of interventions for treating mental health and behavioral disorders, including substance use disorders.

When you’re new to meditation, you might learn how to do a simple body scan,9 in which you bring your awareness to each part of your body, accepting how you feel in the moment. Some versions of this practice then ask you to release any unnecessary tension. As you relax, you may find that you also gain a greater awareness of your emotional state. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment.

mindfulness meditation for addiction recovery

Studies have shown that mindfulness practices reduce stress, anxiety and depression levels by promoting relaxation and improving mood. Mindfulness-based interventions have also been found to decrease substance use disorders, meditation for addiction including those related to alcohol and drugs abuse. Practicing mindful eating during addiction treatment can help individuals become more aware of their emotions, thoughts, body sensations and cravings for unhealthy foods.

For instance, do MBIs decrease addictive behavior by strengthening inhibitory control via activation of top-down neural circuitry? Do MBIs decrease addictive behavior by reducing activation of bottom-up neural circuitry to drug cues? Furthermore, molecular neuroimaging (e.g., positron emission tomography; PET) is needed to understand effects of MBIs on neurotransmitters and neuropeptides implicated in addictive behavior like dopamine, endogenous opioids, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and endocannabinoids. Finally, dynamic effects of mindfulness practice on addictive responses are unknown, and could be elucidated through functional neuroimaging techniques with high temporal resolution like electroencephalography (EEG) or magnetoencephalography (MEG). For instance, does the acute state of mindfulness attenuate initial attentional orienting to drug cues? Or, does mindfulness facilitate attentional disengagement and recovery from drug cue-exposure?

  • Taking a moment to relax can help you become aware of any tension you feel.
  • Mindful eating works by helping individuals identify their hunger signals, whether they are physically hungry or craving food due to stress or emotions.
  • Healing relationships is key to addiction recovery Without relationship, there is no practice, there is no recovery.

If you or a loved one live with drug addiction or substance use disorder, you don’t have to do it alone. Our experienced staff of clinicians is here to help you start your recovery journey. We offer a variety of recovery programs, including detox, inpatient drug rehab, and aftercare. By practicing stillness, you free yourself up to discover truths about yourself. It can also open you up to seeing all the potential you have and that can be an incredibly positive feeling when going through addiction treatment and your recovery journey. And with enough practice, you learn to cope with reality without substances.

mindfulness meditation for addiction recovery

Mindfulness could help women with opioid use disorder better control drug urges – Medical Xpress

Mindfulness could help women with opioid use disorder better control drug urges.

Posted: Tue, 05 Dec 2023 08:00:00 GMT [source]

If you don’t feel like you can practice mindfulness on your own, try a guided meditation practice. This is done with your eyes closed, in a seated position or lying down, and starts with a few deep breaths. By putting yourself in the moment and bringing a sense of calm and peace to your life, you can make less reactive decisions and stick to your long-term recovery plan. This is indeed a challenge, as MBIs with demonstrated efficacy in Stage II trials may fail to show effectiveness in Stage III and IV trials when delivered by community clinicians. Yet, work now needs to be done to understand the feasibility, acceptability, and impact of delivering MBIs in addiction treatment settings.