Addiction is a serious issue. One of the worst things about addiction is the fact that the majority of people don’t even realize they have a problem until their entire life spins out of control. Those who struggle with addiction are truly fighting an internal war. On one side is the enemy and it wants nothing more than to tear your life apart. On the other side is force that wants the best for you in life.
The battle is not easy but it can be won. This becomes especially true when people prepare themselves for battling an addiction by providing themselves with tools that will guide them along the way. Mindfulness meditation happens to be a tool that many recovering addicts use to provide them with the inner-strength they need to stay in the battle.
Check out this article from alcohol rehab, in it you will find a lot of useful information about using this form of meditation to battle addiction.
Intensity of Cravings
When people begin to develop cravings for alcohol or drugs it usually means that they have developed an addiction. These cravings can be hard to resist. Even when the individual has made promises to curb their alcohol or drug intake they will relent because of their cravings. These desires to use a substance are a great deal stronger than just liking something and wanting more of it. Sometimes people do use the word craving to refer to wanting something, but it is not the same as an addictive craving. Some addicts will experience such an intense craving for their drug that they would be willing to crawl across broken glass to get to it.
Mindfulness can be defined as a non-judgmental form of observation. It means the individual is deliberately focusing their attention on the present moment. Every time thoughts wander off into the future or the past the individual gently brings themselves back to the present.
Mindfulness is made up of three different elements: remembering, awareness, and attention. The meditator needs to be aware of the object they wish to focus upon. They will then focus their attention on this object and need to remember to keep it there.
Benefits of Mindfulness Practice
Practicing mindfulness meditation can benefit people in a number of ways including:
* It helps them become less judgmental.
* They become better at living in the present moment.
* When unpleasant emotions or thoughts do arise they can experience them safely.
* The individual develops increased compassion for other sentient beings.
* They begin to feel more connected with other people.
* The individual develops increased self-acceptance.
* It leads to increased feelings of calmness and peacefulness in their daily life.
* It allows them to become more aware of things they have been trying to avoid.
* The individual begins to see that they are not their thoughts.
* They become increasingly self-aware.
* They become less troubled by unpleasant experiences.
* Their emotions become more under control.
* They begin to see that everything changes and even uncomfortable emotions will fade away.
* It allows them to deal much better with stress. It therefore reduces the risk of developing stress related illness.
* They are likely to experience far less anxiety in their life.
* Mindfulness meditation is believed to be a useful treatment for depression. It may also prevent depression arising in the first place.
* Mindfulness can help the body fight off disease. This is because it boosts the immune system.
* Addicts can see their cravings for what they are and overcome them.
A craving can be defined as a consuming desire or yearning. Those individuals who have developed a physiological or psychological dependence on any substance will experience cravings. This desire to use alcohol or drugs can be strong. It is suggested that such cravings originate in the subconscious mind so the individual will find it hard to avoid them. Even those people who have been successfully sober for many years, can still experience cravings.
Cravings and Incentive Sensitization Theory
One possible explanation for why people will experience cravings is provided by incentive sensitization theory. It is suggested that the reason for why these cravings occur is that the brain develops a strong associated between the addictive substance and reward.
This occurs by way of four steps:
* If people are repeatedly exposed to an addictive substance they can develop hypersensitization. This means that in the future these addictive substances will cause a greater neurobehavioral response in the future.
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