Addiction recovery can feel like a roller coaster, especially at the beginning.  Your body can feel fuzzy now that you are no longer using drugs, and cravings can be intense.  Meditation can help you navigate the treacherous waters of addiction recovery, and help you connect with yourself and with the universe.  There are many health benefits of meditation from reducing anxiety, decreasing stress levels, enhancing the immune system, increase positive thinking, to being more in touch with your own body.   Read on for tips and tricks to help you meditate.  

How to Meditate

Meditation should help you relax, clear your mind, and focus.  Meditation is different for each person, but here is one meditation path to help you get started.

Find a quiet place such as an empty room or a spot in nature.  Turn off or remove any distractions such as TV’s or cell phones.  It may also be helpful to wear comfortable clothes.  If you would like to, play some calm, repetitive music to help you relax. Find a comfortable position, either lying down on your back, or sitting with your back supported.  Once you are ready, close your eyes.  

Start observing your breathing.  Feel your chest rise and fall, pay attention to how your breath affects your shoulders, rib cage, belly, etc.  Focus solely on your breath for at least two minutes.  If you begin to think about other things, take a few deep breaths and refocus your thoughts on your breathing.  Don’t try to control or judge your breathing, just be aware of it.  

When you are ready, do a full body scan.  Start down at your toes, and imagine them relaxing, being filled with warmth and life.  Once your toes are relaxed, move up to your feet, then your ankles, calves, knees, etc. until you reach your face.  Continue to focus on your breathing.    

After you are relaxed, take your mind to a peaceful place such as a beach, park, or mountain top, and take in the sights, sounds, smells, etc. of your sanctuary.  This can be a place that you have visited before, or somewhere that you have imagined.  This place is your safe space.

When you are finished, slowly “wake” yourself from your meditation.  Be careful not to jerk yourself out of your meditative state too quickly.  Whatever you do to become relaxed, do the reverse to help you come back to reality.  Open your eyes, and slowly stand up.