In Drug Addiction Recovery: The Mindful Way, author Christopher Dines says: “We did not come into this world loathing ourselves or wishing to numb our feelings. As small children, we operated from a place of wonder, curiosity, spontaneity, and creativity.”
What takes us from an innocent childhood to a life of addiction, and what can we do to change? Some New Jersey rehab centers have taken the first step and made meditation a part of their recovery programs. Along with healing practices like art therapy and acupuncture, mindfulness helps patients recover their lost childhood and restore a sense of unity and balance. At an Edison NJ drug and alcohol rehab, you can find the help that you need through holistic treatment.
One key to understanding addiction is finding the emotion that triggers it. Whether it’s a traumatic memory from childhood or the fear of failing, we can change the way we think and respond. First, we have to stop pretending painful feelings don’t exist and acknowledge them.
Until recently, scientists didn’t know we could change the way our brain works after we become adults, but research shows altering our thinking actually changes the circuits in our brains. In 1992, a neuroscientist named Richard Davidson invited Buddhist monks with years of meditation practice to visit his lab. While they were meditating, he connected electrodes to their heads and hooked them up to MRI machines.
Instead of measuring the effects of anxiety and depression, the brain scans showed the results of kindness and compassion. Scientists discovered the best way to activate positive feelings is through acts of generosity. Experienced meditators showed an increase in compassion and immune response. Another study with inexperienced participants in their early 20s found they could achieve comparable stages of insight and concentration with focus and intention.
A 2017 article in The Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology suggested that just 11 minutes of mindfulness meditation could help alcoholics drink less. When participants meditated and listened to guided meditations, they drank three beers fewer than usual over the coming week. Participants in a control group showed no changes in alcohol consumption, but further research was recommended to see how much training would be needed for success.
Elsewhere, a decade of research at Case Western University found that belonging to a supportive community, having social connections, reducing social anxiety, and doing good deeds could increase the chances of staying sober by as much as 50%. This may occur because the practice of mindfulness demands focus on things happening in the present moment, a stark contrast to the oft-used practice of teaching people to reduce or ignore their cravings for alcohol or drugs.
If you're looking for Edison NJ drug and alcohol rehab centers, you'll find traditional inpatient and outpatient programs. To avoid the temptation and distraction of home, some patients escape to our holistic New Jersey rehab in Atlantic City.
At Enlightened Solutions, we help adults and teens detox, recover, and stay sober. Contact our team for more information about treating your addiction and restoring your life.
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