Individuals struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health issues often have difficulty focusing on the present moment. Ruminating on past trauma or possible future outcomes causes anxiety and increases stress. Meditation is an excellent tool for reducing intrusive, unwanted, or distressing thoughts. According to the National Center for Compliment and Integrative Health (NCCIH), “Meditation and mindfulness practices may have a variety of health benefits and may help people improve the quality of their lives.” Exclusive Hawaii Rehab uses meditation and other alternative holistic therapies to help clients heal from the effects of SUD and mental health disorders.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation is a technique that allows people to clear their minds and focus non-judgementally on the present moment. Often, guided imagery is used to help people achieve a meditative state. For example, a therapist may verbally guide clients through imagining themselves in a calm setting like the beach or an open field. Meditation comes in many forms and provides a wide range of health benefits.

Some of the most common types of meditation include:

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Focused meditation
  • Progressive meditation
  • Movement meditation
  • Mantra meditation
  • Spiritual meditation

Exclusive Hawaii Rehab encourages clients to try different forms of meditation to determine which one helps them feel most comfortable and relaxed. According to Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, “Mounting evidence supports the use of [mindfulness-based interventions] to address psychiatric disorders.” The clinical team encourages clients to use meditation and other mindfulness-based therapies to reduce stress during treatment and early recovery.

Meditation provides clients with an easy way to counter symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. Treatment plans may combine complementary activities like meditation with more traditional talk therapy to increase the effectiveness of both.

Meditation and Relapse Prevention

Some people benefit from creating daily routines centered around meditation and mindfulness. According to Substance Abuse, “Via increased awareness, regulation, and tolerance of potential precipitants of relapse, mindfulness may enhance ability to cope with relapse triggers, interrupting the previous cycle of automatic substance use behavior.” After completing treatment, these routines ground individuals in the moment and reduce the risk of relapse.

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Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

How Does Meditation Affect Mental and Physical Health?

Meditation influences how people process emotions and also impacts physical health. According to AYU, “During the process of meditation, accumulated stresses are removed, energy is increased, and health is positively affected overall.” Health benefits of meditation include “stress reduction, decreased anxiety, decreased depression, reduction in pain (both physical and psychological), improved memory, and increased efficiency.”

Meditation also improves physical health by doing the following:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Increasing melatonin
  • Decreasing heart rate
  • Increasing blood flow to the brain
  • Improving oxygen utilization
  • Decreasing metabolism

The positive effects of meditation improve outcomes for clients in treatment. Clients often continue to practice meditation during aftercare to reduce stress and maintain positive mental health.

Increasing Mindfulness and Self-Awareness

Meditation increases mindfulness and self-awareness by drawing a person’s focus inward and reducing distracting thoughts or behaviors. Self-awareness is essential to long-term recovery from substance abuse or mental health disorders. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), “Meditation-based interventions can be well suited for experiential learning of self-awareness and positive coping skills.” In addition, “Research evidence indicates that mindfulness meditation training and practice can enhance outcomes in SUDs.” Greater self-awareness and mindfulness help people make meaningful connections between thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.

The following services at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab make it easier for clients to increase self-awareness:

  • Peer and community engagement
  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy

Many people benefit from participating in various therapeutic services alongside loved ones. Substance abuse affects all members of a family. Clients and their loved ones can use family therapy and other support services to heal together. Meditation increases the effectiveness of psychotherapy.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

Primary Benefits of Meditation

Meditation and other holistic therapies offer clients new ways to process emotions and mental health issues. Clients can meditate alone, with the help of a clinician, or alongside peers during group activities. The flexibility of meditation makes it easy to incorporate into all treatment programs.

In addition to providing physical health benefits, meditation also improves mental health. According to Cureus, “It has also been shown that meditation increases happiness by explicitly increasing the positive emotional response within the human body.”

A few other benefits of meditation include:

  • Decreased risk of heart disease
  • Less severe symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Increased ability to focus
  • Reduced sleep disturbances

Meditative exercises improve overall health for individuals with SUD and co-occurring conditions during and after treatment. Meditation-based techniques help clients strengthen the mind-body connection and increase stress tolerance.

Alternative Holistic Therapies at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

Exclusive Hawaii Rehab uses alternative holistic therapies to complement evidence-based treatments like psychotherapy. Clinicians collaborate closely with clients to determine which forms of meditation or other alternative therapies will reduce their stress and improve their mental health during treatment.

Treatment programs are tailored to the unique needs and preferences of each client. Often, multiple forms of therapy are combined to create more effective forms of treatment. Other alternative treatments offered at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab include:

  • Yoga
  • Breathwork
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Bodywork
  • Nature immersion

Most clients participate in more than one form of alternative holistic therapy. Residential (RTC), partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) provide clients with the time and space to explore complementary medicine and healthy forms of relaxation.