Meditation as a healer
Meditation in the treatment of any kind of anxiety and addiction, or one or the other, for that matter is being used more and more each year. There seems to be no doubt about it. It seems to be an almost essential way to quiet the mind and stop the frantic-ness of the obsessions and compulsions that drug and alcohol addictions bring. In fact, any addiction for that matter. By building new neural connections among brain cells, we rewire the brain, and with each new neural connection, the brain is actually learning. It’s as if we’re adding more RAM to a computer, giving it more functionality. Neuroscientists found that after just five 20 minute sessions of a mindfulness meditation technique, people had increased blood flow to an area of the brain vital to self-control, the anterior cingulate cortex. This can aid greatly in the treatment of anxiety and addiction. After 11 hours of practice in meditation, they found actual physical changes in the brain around this area. Researchers from Yale recently found that a 4-week mindfulness training programme for anxiety and addiction.
was more effective as a treatment for addiction for smoking than the American Lung Association’s ‘gold standard’ treatment. Over a period of 4 weeks, on average, people saw a 90% reduction in the number of cigarettes they smoked.
One of the benefits of mindfulness meditation practice in treating for anxiety and addiction is this process of creating new neural networks for self-observation, optimism, and well-being. Through mindfulness meditation, we light up and build up the left-prefrontal cortex, associated with optimism, self-observation, and compassion, allowing ourselves to cease being dominated by the right-prefrontal cortex, which is associated with fear, depression, anxiety, and pessimism. All contributing to anxiety and addiction. As a result, our self-awareness and mood stability increase as our harsh judgments of others and ourselves decrease. By devoting attention, intention, and daily effort to being mindful, we learn to master the mind and open the doorway to the creativity available in open-mind consciousness.
Anxiety and addiction
One of the first steps in dealing with anxiety and addiction is to discover the emotional cause of it, whether it is fear, depression, anxiety, or pessimism. Many times these unwholesome thoughts and beliefs come from what I call the “wanting mind.” In wanting mind, we feel that our current state of unhappiness could be cured if only we could have the money, job, relationship, recognition, or power we had and lost, or never had and strongly desire.
Meditation for anxiety and addiction is a wonderful practice that I believe everyone who has sever anxiety should start doing to reduce it. I have been doing Meditation every day for the last 5 years of my life and I have never felt so grounded in myself. How I put meditation is, it’s a practice that helps you build that pre frontal cortex muscle so you have the willpower to be in control of your emotions. Like I said before your emotions will run all over you if you don’t use some kind of technique to manage them. Pre frontal cortex has a lot to do with your willpower and lots of times people starting out with meditation can’t deal with it because you aren’t doing anything but breathing and becoming present.
A case study into anxiety and addiction
I have talked to a lot of people in my life and the majority of them tell me that becoming present in the moment is really difficult, especially if you don’t live there. I used to work so hard in my life to achieve everything I wanted, but I would never be fulfilled at the level I wanted and I couldn’t understand why. This made me feel worthless even though I was achieving a significant amount and I believe we all get in this rut at some stage in life. The way out was life changing for me because I didn’t think there was a way out, I thought this is what life was about and I really believed it. This we see often in dealing with anxiety and addiction, of all kinds.
The way I learned how to manage my anxiety was through practices like meditation because I was always on the go and never reflected on anything in my life. What’s the point in achieving what you want to achieve and then not even feeling any emotion about it. You look around you and you see everyone not being present, they are running around hoping one day there is going to be some kind of completion. It’s a safe way of thinking and always having something on your mind keeps your focus off yourself which most people like. Focusing on achieving because you don’t feel you have any self-worth is what destroys people’s lives. They wake up 20 years down the track and regret their whole life because they didn’t live when they had the chance to.
When you are stressed you are reacting to everything in your environment and you feel like you have no control in those moments. Even meditation for 10 mins every morning before you start your day it interrupts you usual thinking patterns and brings you back to present. If you just focus on your breathing right now you will realize that you aren’t stressed because you can only focus on one thing at a time. One of the biggest things that meditation has done for me is it’s made me not react to people like I used to. People who stir me up a lot and I would feel insecure and hold it with me like I talked about earlier. Meditation helps you become more grounded and gives you a tighter grip on like so you don’t spin out of control.
If I do my meditation everyday usually nothing will put me off. I have had situation where my business hit adversity and instead of worrying about it, I straight away was focused to break through the challenge. It’s like going to the gym but it’s a gym for your mind. Your emotional willpower grows from not doing anything but relaxing and breathing.