Exercise and meditation are two of the most commonly used practices to help people improve their physical and mental health.
Regular, daily meditation has shown to improve various aspects of your health and help with things like cardiovascular health, depression symptoms, and more.
Along with regular meditation, physical exercise is another daily practice you can implement that will improve your physical health and overall well-being.
While the benefits may seem obvious, these practices can also be helpful for another group: those in addiction treatment.
Meditation and exercise strategies have been found to be effective forms of complementary treatment for those who are struggling with substance abuse issues and going through a treatment program.
- Meditation in Recovery Centers
Meditation is a tool used to help not only with your physical health, but mental health which has shown to be an important aspect of addiction treatment.
Mental health disorders and addiction are often co-occuring problems, something referred to as a dual diagnosis. Because of the way these problems interact, it is vital that these issues are solved simultaneously. If you manage to fix one issue but not the other, relapses are common.
This is why meditation is often an integral part of dual diagnosis addiction treatment programs and has shown numerous benefits for depression and anxiety symptoms – two of the most common co-occurring disorders for people dealing with substance abuse.
Along with meditation, regular physical exercise can improve mental health outlook and help with problems such as depression.
- Exercise in Recovery Centers
There is no silver bullet for drug or alcohol addiction treatment. Just because something works for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for others. As with most chronic illnesses, this means some people who go through addiction treatment programs will relapse and go back to their old habits until they find the right mix of treatment techniques.
Relapses often occur when a person deals with urges to use that become too overwhelming.
This is where exercise can help.
Along with exercise, meditation can reduce a person’s odds of relapsing through its ability to help change headspace. Normally, people dealing with cravings will go through intense feelings for only a few moments before they pass. If a patient is able to gain control of their thoughts and impulses it will help them overcome these issues.
Exercise is also used as a way to avoid boredom and downtime that can lead to relapse. Often when people get sober they find that they have a lot of time on their hands. By throwing themselves into a new hobby or activity, their chances of relapse are reduced as the brain remains occupied.
Both meditation and exercise have proven to help with various aspects of addiction treatment and can improve a person’s chance at long-term sobriety.
While neither meditation nor exercise can be used alone to overcome addiction, they are valuable resources that can (and should) be used in addition to other treatment methods.
Examples of Meditation and Exercise for Addiction
As meditation and exercise become more and more recognized as viable supplementary treatment methods, addiction centers across the globe are beginning to add them into their curriculum.
One drug rehab in Arizona, The Hope House, has partnered with Arizona State University to bring additional exercise and mindfulness classes to its patients providing them with additional resources to overcome alcoholism, opioid addiction, and more to help them achieve long-term relief.
These classes are overseen by licensed clinicians and addiction experts to ensure that the methods being taught are conducive with recovery and sobriety.