Heal Body and Mind: Meditations to Aid Addiction Recovery

Apr 9, 2024

Many who struggle with substance abuse have lost connection to their mind, body, and soul. Being out of touch with yourself in this way can cause you to feel anxious and unsettled.

Recovery is all about healing from the inside out. Meditation can be a life-changing tool for many in recovery. It can be a healthy coping mechanism that brings peace, calmness, and connection.

Meditations to Aid Addiction Recovery


What is Meditation?

Meditation is a mind-body experience that triggers deep relaxation and calmness while enhancing overall well-being. Meditation is often an effective tool to help cope with illnesses. It involves being in a quiet and comfortable setting, focusing on calmness, and allowing distractions and unwelcome thoughts to pass by. There are many different forms of meditation, but most involve deep breathing.

Some people take part in guided meditation, while others prefer unguided meditation. Guided meditation means a trained meditation or mental health professional is guiding you through the experience. Unguided meditation means you practice meditating on your own. Many starts with guided meditation to get the hang of it. Several apps can help with at-home meditation.

Different Kinds of Meditation

There are many different forms of meditation, and all of them are great tools to use in an addiction recovery center and beyond. The best type of meditation for you will depend on your personality, goals, and preferences. Here are five types of meditation to help with addiction recovery.

1. Mindful Meditation

Although all types of meditation aim at being mindful, mindfulness meditation emphasizes it the most. It’s about building awareness of a current situation and examining feelings, thoughts, and experiences without labeling them as bad, good, wrong or right. It’s all about allowing sensations and inner thoughts to pass by without judging them while practicing deep and rhythmic breathing. This type of meditation is helpful in the beginning stages of addiction recovery when building a foundation for your daily meditation.

2. Focused Meditation

Focused mediation is an excellent tool for those who struggle to focus. This involves choosing one of the five senses as the epicenter of your mediation. For example, you might focus on the sound of ocean waves, the sight of a bonfire burning in a fire pit, or the feeling of warm sun on your face. Your mind may wander off, but it’s all about bringing your focus back to whichever sense you choose to focus on. Better mind control can help you overcome addiction.

3. Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental meditation involves repeating a particular mantra to transcend your current state. It’s often practiced with a meditation instructor who selects the mantra and guides you into achieving a spiritual and mindful awakening.

4. Spiritual Meditation

Many faith-based treatment centers in Utah incorporate spiritual meditation into their treatment. This involves focusing on silence and finding your connection to God. Spiritual meditation can include prayer.

5. Movement Meditation

Movement meditation involves moving intentionally and gently. This could mean walking in nature, gardening, or painting. The focus should be on slow, purposeful movements and being present in the moment while you engage in a physical experience.

The Pros of Meditation in Addiction Recovery

A research journal in the National Library of Medicine found that meditation is an effective form of mindfulness training for people with substance abuse disorders and can contribute to preventing relapse.

Meditation has a significantly positive effect on mental health. People who commit to regular meditation report:

  • Reduced stress
  • Enhanced mood
  • Lower levels of anxiety and worry
  • Better sleep and relaxation
  • Decrease in depression

Studies also show that meditation can support treatment for various physical health conditions, such as:

  • Smoking addiction
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Pain
  • Ulcerative colitis

The Pros of Meditation in Addiction Recovery

As people struggling with substance abuse disorder wean off their addiction, it becomes difficult to cope with daily stressors without resorting to relapse. While adjusting to life without substances, people often struggle with poor sleep, physical pain, depression, anxiety, and drug or alcohol cravings. As these feelings sometimes become unbearable, people often relapse to deal with them.

Meditation can help reduce these symptoms, calm the mind, distract from the cravings, and help individuals practice mind control so they are strong enough to resist giving in to cravings. Gaining stronger control over the mind can lead to better self-awareness and being less bothered by intrusive thoughts or unpleasant experiences.

How to Incorporate Meditation into Your Recovery Journey

Whether you’re years into your recovery or just getting started, daily meditation can help you. You can begin to see the benefits of mediation as soon as you start. Here are some ideas that will facilitate meditation:

  • Pray and read scriptures
  • Sign up for meditation classes
  • Do yoga
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Check in with your body daily to connect and recognize sensations you feel
  • Download a meditation app
  • Practice daily positive and repetitive self-talk
  • Take a relaxing walk
  • Close your eyes and focus on gratitude, love, and happiness

Our team members at our Utah and Idaho Christian-based rehabilitation centers can help you incorporate meditation into your daily treatment. Getting used to meditation practices can take some time, so being patient with yourself and looking at the big picture is essential. In the long run, meditation will enhance your life and aid in a successful treatment.

Meditation is one of those practices that people may roll their eyes at until they try it themselves. It can be hard to picture such a practice making a difference in your recovery, but it certainly can. If you’re skeptical about meditation, give it a try. Meditation, coupled with individual and group therapies, can be a powerful tool in coping with the rollercoaster of thoughts, feelings, and emotions that come with addiction recovery.