June 16, 2014
There is a distinct difference between achieving sobriety and maintaining sobriety. When we achieve sobriety, we have admitted that we are powerless in regards to our addiction and we take the necessary steps to address those issues. Through intensive drug treatment, we undergo medical detoxification, therapy, life skills training and other essential treatment services in order to uncover the underlying roots of our addictive behavior and get the tools to overcome those behaviors. While successfully completing a drug treatment program is a major accomplishment, the recovery process is far from over.
In order to maintain the sobriety that was hard earned, you must put the tools and skills that you learned in drug treatment into active practice in your daily affairs. Engaging in effective relapse prevention techniques is absolutely crucial in order to keep your recovery front and center while navigating the stresses and pressure of the day-to-day grind. One of the most powerful relapse prevention tools at your disposal is the daily practice of prayer and meditation.
Prayer and meditation are crucial in long-term sobriety for the fact that it keep your thoughts and energies in the here and now and allows you to discern what you can and can’t control in the present. Prayer and meditation techniques and practice have become a staple of many drug treatment programs such as the ones featured at Ocean Breeze Recovery Center. Call us toll-free today to learn more about mediation and recovery and other relapse prevention techniques that are featured in our effective drug and alcohol treatment programs.
The Differences Between Prayer and Meditation
More often that not, people will often use the terms prayer and meditation loosely and will often use them interchangeably. While both concepts share common ground, each concept has distinct differences. Prayer specifically is defined as asking God or another form of a Higher Power for something or another. In its’ broadest sense, prayer can be seen as a one-on-one conversation with the Higher Power of your understanding.
There are many forms of prayer that people practice from saying grace at the dinner table and bedtime prayers to prayers uttered during times of crisis. Certainly prayer is the best known form of communication with God. In many ways, prayer can be seen as a form of sympathetic magic in the fact that we hold a notion that through focusing on a particular thought we can influence outcomes in our lives.
Meditation can be seen as a series of techniques that can that will encourage the development of concentration and clarity to our thinking. Additionally, meditation brings forth a deeper sense of emotional positivity and a sense of calm because you are seeing and accepting things in your environment “as is”. There are many forms of meditation practice from simple breath counting techniques to more formal study. With each different type meditation practice you will better understand your thought patterns and habits.
Whereas prayer focuses on a particular thought in hopes of changing its outcome, people who meditate focus on a particular thought and slow down the rapidity of your other thoughts and as a result you can think more clearly on what is in front of you. When you are able to think more clearly, you can better see what parts of a particular thought or event you can control and those you cannot control. By pointing out the differences, it is not assuming that one practice is better than the other. Both prayer and meditation have their benefits, and sometimes both concepts overlap and can work together.
Reasons Why Prayer is Essential to Long-Term Recovery
There are several important reasons why prayer is an essential tool in helping people maintain long-term recovery. First, prayer can help remind people of acceptance. This is perfectly demonstrated in the Serenity Prayer in which people must have the courage to change the things they can and accept the fact there are things in their life they cannot change. Adopting an acceptance mindset can bring about happiness because they no longer have to waste energy trying to change things that are unchangeable.
Secondly, prayer can give a much need moral and spiritual boost when times get tough. Recovery is a lifelong journey, and along that journey there will be dark times and obstacles to navigate. Prayer can help those struggling with recovery find the inner strength to carry on. Another way that prayer is essential to long-term recovery is it provides empowerment in the fact there are many things in life that people can change, and that they should take action when such actions will improve their life.
Reasons Why Meditation is Essential to Long-Term Recovery
As stated earlier, a great benefit of meditation is the fact that people who engage in regular practice are able to slow their thinking down and are able to focus on what is important in the present. Meditation significantly reduces stress and by proxy it can relieve a person’s cravings and urges to use drugs and alcohol. Because regular meditation practice emphasizes the purging of negative thoughts, it can also significantly reduce depression and anxiety in addicts. Meditation is also essential to long-term recovery in the fact that people who meditate are more aware of their bodies and are more aware of the thoughts and behaviors that can lead to relapse.
Additionally, a great benefit of meditation in the promotion of long-term recovery is the fact that people are more aware of their thoughts, which leads to better decision making and minimizes impulsive and reckless behavior. Meditation is also beneficial because people will see that emotions and events are transitory and will pass. This will help people not to dwell on a feeling or event for too long.
Meditation and recovery are an essential part of an overall plan of recovery. When you come to Ocean Breeze Recovery Center, these valuable tools are a part of our effective drug and alcohol treatment programs. If you are ready to make the change for the better, call us toll-free right now and take the first step in making recovery a reality.