Meditation/Stress Management Program
The life of the alcoholic/addict is often a very frantic, driven existence filled with stress and pressure. The thoughts of the alcoholic/addict are often just as frantic, fluctuating between guilt and remorse over past behaviors or irrational fears of what is next to come. Meditation is a useful tool, improving every area of our lives.
Modern life, with all its technology, is a fast-paced, pressure cooker that results in increased stress levels that never seem to ease. Alcoholics and addicts are often talented, creative people that do not shy away from hard work. At the end of a tough day, however, it is hard to “turn it off” and relax. Some of us find that alcohol and drugs are wonderful coping mechanisms that can slow the “hamster wheel” in our heads for a short time. Unfortunately, what began as our solution soon becomes a problem of its own.
Now we are clean and sober, avoiding our old friends the bottle or the bag, and we are left staring face-to-face with stress. Meditation and mindfulness are proven tools that can ease the stress without the use of substances. The various health benefits, sense of calm, and mental clarity are just a few of the results of regular meditation. Add to that the increased ability to control cravings and racing thoughts and it just makes sense that we should learn this valuable part of recovery. Meditation is a regular, essential part of treatment protocol at many recovery centers across the country and has always been an integral component of the 12 Steps, as stated in the Eleventh Step.
Our weekly, hour long, Meditation/Stress Management Group session opens with the regular process portion of individual check-in and then moves on to a brief informational component in which clients learn about the various effects of stress on daily life, its link with addictions and different approaches to meditation. The concept of mindfulness is regularly emphasized. The final 10-15 minutes of the session are devoted to a guided meditation in which clients are able to practice what they have learned.