People are social animals. In fact, social acceptance is high on our list of needs, right above the basics for survival. Drug addiction often strains relationships. You may find yourself alienated from friends and loved ones. An Interpersonal psychotherapy program is designed to help you form healthy relationships with others. This can reduce your stress levels and lower the risk of relapse. A meditation therapy program is often part of psychotherapy.
Mindfulness meditation has become quite popular in recent years. It appears to be a cure for today’s lifestyle. Smartphones, stress, and the busy lives we lead make it difficult for us to remain in the present moment and truly experience life. Meditation has found its way into many areas, including parenting, PTSD treatment, and substance abuse treatment. A meditation therapy program helps you to be aware in the present moment, and view your thoughts without judgment.
The Autopilot Problem
We often spend much of our day on auto-pilot. Have you ever driven to work and realized that you can’t remember the drive? Do you find yourself going through your day getting things done while your thoughts are somewhere else, or simply feel blank, not really concentrating or fully aware of anything? If you closed your eyes right now and had to describe the room you are, how many details would you remember? Autopilot can be helpful. It allows us to multitask by focusing most of our thoughts in one area and working with our hands in another. However, when autopilot becomes your default state of consciousness, it becomes a problem. Your brain will follow the patterns set out by previous behavior, without any conscious input. In terms of drug addiction, if you are on autopilot and someone offers you drugs, you are likely to take them without stopping to consider the consequences.
How Meditation Helps Conquer Addiction
Now contrast the above scenario with someone who is in a meditation therapy program. Their awareness of the present moment and ability to let their thoughts come without judgment is very useful. This person will stop to consider the potential consequences of the drug. They will also be aware that they have thoughts of wanting to do it. However, remaining non-judgemental about these thoughts allows them to be experienced without hyper-focusing on them. It’s the paradox that the more you try not to think about something, the more you end up thinking about it. Accepting your thoughts while realizing that you are under no obligation to act on them allows them to come and go. It also takes away the shame that you would likely feel at being tempted.
Experiential avoidance also plays a large part in addiction. A desire to use a drug or substance to alter your mental, emotional, or physical state is a desire to avoid your current thoughts, feelings, or physical sensations. In fact, not using experiential avoidance as a coping mechanism can be one of the most difficult parts of recovery. You may feel stuck inside your head, overwhelmed by your thoughts, and feel a strong urge to turn them off by using drugs. This is also a likely reason why those who are addicted to one substance will choose other mind-altering substances if theirs isn’t available. Any high, which provides experiential avoidance, is better than sobriety where you simply cannot avoid yourself. Meditation therapy for addiction is helpful because it helps you to accept the present moment. Instead of running from the moment, you learn to experience it in a relaxed and nonjudgmental way. As time goes on, you will find yourself doing this more and more often, not just when you are intentionally meditating.
Recovery Ranch Meditation Therapy Program
If you are struggling with an addiction or recovery, we can help. We have many programs to help you get clean and stay clean. Contact us at 1.844.876.7680, and learn what our meditation therapy program can do for you.