Why Mindful Meditation Can Improve Recovery Outcomes 

Mindfulness is all about how to tap into the present moment with loved ones. A state of mindfulness can help people become more in tune with how they feel, the way they think, and behavioral patterns. The state of mindfulness is learned in meditation. With a focus on breath and posture, people can learn to enter a state of calm but also push external stimuli away. Mindful meditation is linked to lower blood pressure and greater peace for people who incorporate it into recovery. 

How Mindful Meditation Works

The most widely used therapies for mental health conditions now incorporate elements here and there of mindfulness practices. This may include mindfulness like yoga or meditation or may focus on mindfully developed cognitive therapy. Mindful meditation works with a person in recovery to enhance their experience, to accept the present moment, and to support those who are struggling with substance abuse. These people can make plans for improving their lives instead of living in denial. 

We help people with addictions and substance use disorders recover. Get mindfulness training and learn the 12 Steps for deeper healing.

Opposite of Addiction

Mindful meditation is more than mantras and platitudes or ‘nice thoughts.’ There is a deeper, more intrinsic way to experience mindfulness that incorporates recovery principles for living. Instead of treating symptoms, the person is treating themselves with appropriate amounts of positive thoughts to combat negative stressors and triggers. The lessons learned through mindful meditation are used to achieve a state of mindfulness that requires people to recognize their circumstances for today and keep working on developing a personal relationship to themselves. Mindful meditation teaches the person they can achieve peace inside themselves. It is not extrinsic. It is an internal compass that expands when a person is educated on how to use it well. People using drugs seek satisfaction for the moment, but people who use mindfulness techniques seek peace for the moment. 

Mindful Meditation Research

Addiction recovery is more than one principle, thought, or behavioral modification. Success in recovery is not defined by how much a person does or how well they do. Their success is defined by themselves, every day, living in recovery and staying sober. Any helpful tool is going to support them to that end, which is why meditation is key. It is free to do and comes with myriad benefits. A lot o f research being done has looked at the mental health and physical side effects of meditation.  They are all positive: lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and lower risk of heart attack or stroke.There is also minimized risk of relapse for people in recovery from addiction. Healing the brain is the best way to combat addiction recovery. Individuals who participated in mindful meditation saw growth in their brains and sensory processing. They were able to regain some functions they lost with addiction. 

Treatment Options

Recovery from addiction requires flushing drugs from the person’s system. This person must be able to work on repairing their relationships and body from the abuse. Mindfulness is one way to help people seek freedom from drugs and alcohol. The risk of relapse is always high for people in recovery. The goal is to lower the risk by mitigating risk factors. These can include environment, social pressure, work, life, or other stressors that keep them from feeling successful in their new skin. 

There is no cure for addiction. The only way to handle a person’s life in recovery is to mitigate risk and minimize relapse triggers and cravings. The risks are very high for people who relapse. With the right support, they can stop fighting against themselves and begin feeling like they are winning. 

Loosening the Grip of Addiction

In order to loosen the grip of addiction, it takes a huge team of people working to support their recovery. They have to have people who surround them with love, a treatment center focused on their mental, physical, and spirtual health, and some sense they are moving forward. Every day is a step away from addiction to freedom. To keep looping back into the same patterns is going to make them feel defeated over time. Mindful Meditation helps a person feel less defeated and more empowered. The more empowered a person feels, the better off they will be down the road.

Although mindful meditation is not going to take away the triggers or cravings, you are going to feel like you can handle what comes their way. The tools and resources from rehab are a starting point to them feeling better for the long term.

Find Healing At Renewal Lodge

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Dear Renewal Lodge Visitors,

My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my recovery in 1984. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

My journey of recovery brought this once homeless, shame-based, traumatized, insecure young man to a life far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I discovered self-worth, the joy of helping others, the gifts of parenting and grandparenting, and most importantly the ability to live a meaningful and purposeful life with integrity.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is that I have the opportunity to give back and help others discover their self-worth, dignity, and the skills to fully live lives that they find truly meaningful. This is the inspiration for developing the skills of Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) to meet the needs of new generations struggling with alcohol and other substance use disorders. MIR is a set of evidence-based skills designed to help people fully integrate their tools of recovery in ways that are personalized, practical, and in alignment with their deepest values.

While we train counselors and therapists throughout the United States and abroad, I personally have chosen to work directly with the amazing team and clients at Renewal Lodge to develop the model MIR 12-step program for the nation. I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team. Renewal Lodge is an extremely rare environment in which the staff embodies the very mindfulness and 12-step practices and skills they offer their clients. The results have been beyond my expectations. It is an honor to be here and I treasure my personal time with every client I meet.

With Gratitude,

John Bruna
John Bruna
Director of Mindfulness
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