Participating in treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) can be a stressful and scary time. It’s important to ensure you have a holistic treatment plan that can help ensure recovery for the long term. This is where mindfulness and meditation come in. Meditation can help ease the stressors you may be feeling and improve your experience during treatment through calming and relaxation tips.
Here at West Coast Recovery Centers, we strive to prioritize mindfulness and meditation practices in our treatment program. This practice helps to slow down the mind and enhance self-discovery for successful treatment.
What Are Mindfulness and Meditation?
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), the practice of meditation focuses on using both mind and body to calm the mind. Mindfulness and meditation can be used together with other types of therapy to enhance treatment and overall well-being.
Meditation is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and is mainly prominent in Eastern traditions. In most cases, it can involve sitting in a quiet room and allowing yourself to access your thoughts.
The Different Types of Meditation
There are a few different types of meditation that can help with different things that you might be struggling with. It’s best to meet with a mental health professional to see which form of meditation can help you the most in treatment.
This form of meditation is rooted in the Buddhist tradition. The main idea is to regulate your focus and thinking. Zen meditation’s main idea is to practically think about nothing and feel calm with your own thoughts. The end goal is to learn how to keep your mind from wandering and gain insights about yourself.
This type of meditation is led by an instructor; this can either be done in person or over audio format. In most cases, the teacher will explain the different dynamics of the mind during your meditation. Then they should go into explaining different meditation techniques. This way, you understand what and why you’re doing certain things. Lastly, they should explain how you can use this in everyday life outside of the practice.
This form of meditation can be best if you’re an active person and enjoy moving around. Walking meditation is usually best for beginners because the act of walking is a familiar act and can feel the most natural in the beginning.
This meditation involves staying present while you’re walking and focusing on how your body is feeling. It’s important to also focus on the physical sensations you are feeling while you’re walking, such as your feet stepping on leaves or the wind on your face.
This form of meditation includes silently repeating a certain word or phrase until you reach inner peace. The word “transcend” literally means to go beyond. When you’re repeating a phrase or word you’re fully awake, but your body is calming down. This form of meditation has been said to help with lowering blood pressure and reducing stress.
The Benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation During Treatment
Mindfulness and meditation are similar to yoga in the sense that they can help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. This is beneficial for treatment because the feelings of stress and anxiety can potentially lead to a relapse. Learning these techniques to avoid relapse can help during treatment and once you leave as well.
A study in Washington revealed that treatment programs that practice mindfulness and meditation helped individuals prevent relapse later on. The study consisted of 286 participants who completed a treatment program and were placed into three different groups. The groups were a mindfulness and meditation group, a 12-Step program group, and a traditional-relapse prevention group.
They found that the group that practiced mindfulness and meditation showed it was more effective in preventing a relapse for the participants. The results showed that nine percent of the participants in the mindfulness program reported a relapse, while 17% of the traditional program and 14% of the 12-Step program participants reported a relapse.
How Does West Coast Recovery Practice Mindfulness and Meditation?
West Coast Recovery Centers understands the importance of mindfulness and meditation during treatment. Our clients will have the opportunity to incorporate mindfulness and meditation within our other therapies. This can be especially beneficial for our clients who are struggling with co-occurring disorders such as SUD and depression.
At West Coast Recovery Centers, we practice the following types of mindfulness and meditation:
- Guided meditation
- Walking meditation
- Mindful self-compassion
- Sound healing
- Deep breathing exercises
- Guided imagery
- Creative arts expression
Incorporating mindfulness through practicing yoga during treatment can help incorporate both the mind and body. Yoga can also increase the GABA neurotransmitter, which tends to be low in individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, and SUD. Our clients have the chance to participate in weekly gender-specific yoga classes to enhance their treatment program for long-term recovery.
Mindfulness and meditation have many benefits to help you during treatment, such as reducing the risk of relapse and increasing self-awareness. These are vital skills for both treatment and after treatment. West Coast Recovery Centers prioritizes mindfulness and meditation during the treatment phase to ensure lifelong recovery for our clients. If you are struggling with a co-occurring disorder, this form of treatment can help you as well. Some of the forms of meditation that we practice are walking meditation, guided meditation, and yoga. You no longer have to struggle alone; there are resources available for you. For more information about West Coast Recovery Centers and the treatment options offered in our program, call (760) 492-6509.