Incorporating Meditation Into Your Mental Health Recovery
Meditation isn’t just about centering. This practice is about being nonjudgmental and present with where you are right now. The detachment term you hear about doesn’t mean ignoring your feelings. How are mindfulness and mental health recovery connected?
Academic research is finally catching up to what monks and practitioners have known for ages about certain holistic arts – meditation heals the mind and body. Corporations and individuals are working together to prioritize ways to engage with charities to help with recovery. Mindfulness meditation is an effective tool that can aid in mental health recovery in a number of ways.
Meditation Connects You to Your True Self
Yes, meditation is about finding your center, that small, still quiet place within you. This mindfulness tool brings your awareness to what matters to you and what you’re ready to release, in all of its stages. Whether you’re feeling anxiety, grief, anger, sorrow or joy, you’re experiencing these emotions from an objective place. You’re honoring yourself, which is very important no matter what you’re going through in life.
Meditation Lowers Stress
It’s especially beneficial for those who suffer from anxiety and depression. After analyzing several clinical studies, researchers at John Hopkins University in Baltimore discovered that mindfulness meditation measurably eases psychological stresses, such as anxiety and depression. Meditation was found to address symptomatic concerns: poor sleep quality, extreme worry and shifting moods.
It’s important to find your own coping mechanisms, but some find even greater support with practicing their tools with others. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has a searchable database to find a support group near you and information on starting your own. When you form your group, perhaps you’ll give back by teaching others about how meditation lowers stress and improves mood.
Meditation Literally Rewires the Brain
The University of Oregon found that integrative body-mind training such as meditation actively protects against mental illness. In their study, researchers found increased signal connections in the brain and added myelin (protective tissue) forming after just eleven hours of mindfulness practices. Participants also saw a boost in mood. This is good news for sufferers of mental illness who are interested in various ways to heal and motivates those who wish to donate to the cause.
So, there is something to changing your point-of-view and changing your reality. You’re literally transforming the psychological and physical aspects of your mind when you practice meditation.
Meditation Helps U.S. Marines With Recovery After Trauma
In recent years, the U.S. Marine Corps has been integrating a new curriculum to study how meditative practices affect troops in training. In 2014, the University of California at San Diego found that these practices help marines prepare and recover from combat situations causing mental and emotional stress, including anxiety, depression and PTSD.
Those who participated in the mindfulness training found that their heart rates and blood pressure returned to normal more quickly than those who did not do the training, by optimizing the body’s response to stress.
PTSD is a serious health concern that affects all areas of your life and the ones you love. Seek out the support network that you need.
Meditation Helps Arthritis Sufferers Lower Stress and Pain
The Arthritis Foundation advocates the use of meditation to ease symptoms and relieve stress. It cites research from various scientific sources, including Drexel University, with more than 100 participants who saw measurable improvement in stress, pain and functional use of their hands. Meditation is proven to improve physical and psychological symptoms.
Meditation Can Reduce the Risk of Relapse
When you are in recovery from addiction and suffer from cravings for alcohol or drugs, it is extremely hard to resist and change your focus. The University of California at Berkeley advises that meditation can be an important tool to cope with withdrawal from addiction, providing higher rates of recovery and less risk of relapse.
If you are suffering from addiction, mindfulness techniques may help you cope with withdrawal, but it’s important that you seek out other support networks or start your own group. Sponsor someone who was where you have been.
Meditation Is a Valid Tool for Recovery
Whether you suffer from PTSD, depression, arthritis or addiction, you know that it affects more than one area of your life. Meditation helps you focus objectively on what you are experiencing in your mind and body. When you focus on physical and mental well-being, a comprehensive recovery plan emerges that treats the person on more than one level.
Every person is unique, and it’s important that you integrate your meditation practice with other treatment modalities. Speak with your doctor or therapist to work meditation into your recovery plan.