Meditation and healthy living help those in recovery. A person in early recovery is likely to experience triggers, stress and the compulsion to drink alcohol or use drugs. These triggers can be more easily managed with the aid of healthy eating habits, rest and meditation. Some find it difficult to meditate. Cambridge University educated Peter Russell offers simple guidelines to follow to make meditation easy, enjoyable and effective.
Peter Russell states, “For many of you, it might sound strange to hear that meditation should be effortless. If anything, you probably feel you’re not trying hard enough. But the opposite is actually true. Meditation works best when there’s no trying or effort. It’s about allowing the mind to relax.”
Meditation and Mindfulness based practices help the person in early recovery “regroup” and avoid living life on “automatic pilot”. The act of taking a five minute break at several points throughout one’s day can ground the recovery person. These mindful efforts actively engage their sober efforts and remind them to use their recovery tools that we have taught them while at AToN Center.
Peter Russell offers the following advice for making meditation simple: “While trying harder may help in many day-to-day tasks, when it comes to meditation, the harder we try, the more tense our minds become. And this defeats the entire purpose of meditation. Once you stop all effort and striving, you’ll find the mind settles down naturally into a state of quiet.”
So consider simply relaxing the body and your breathing the next time you meditate. If thoughts come into your mind that are distracting, that is ok. Simply, try to redirect your thoughts to the task at hand, focusing on your breathing and resting.
Chris McDuffie, RRW
Chemical Dependency Counselor
AToN Center 888-535-1516