When considering addressing substance use, disordered eating, or any other mental health disorders that may be getting in the way of achieving your maximum potential, Recovery Frameworks encourages looking at your values, your strengths, and your goals to come up with an action plan that helps you grow towards a brighter future. The ultimate goal is self-actualization, helping you to be the best you possible. To achieve this, we must live a well-rounded life. We must practice habits and skills that encourage wellness. To assist with these goals, we have developed a series of blog posts highlighting a skill or habit that you can try for yourself! This week's habit is meditation.
We live in a fast-paced world, and it's not unusual to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. We face numerous challenges and uncertainties, and it's easy to get caught up in our worries and fears. But stress and anxiety can have a detrimental effect on our mental and physical health, and it's important to learn how to manage them.
One of the most effective ways to manage stress and anxiety is through meditation and deep breathing exercises. Meditation is the practice of training our mind to focus and be present in the moment. Deep breathing exercises involve taking slow, deliberate breaths that help calm our nervous system and reduce tension.
To begin, find a quiet and comfortable space where you can sit undisturbed. You can sit cross-legged or in any other posture that feels comfortable for you. Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and hands resting on your knees. Start by taking a few deep breaths and then focus your attention on your natural breath. Observe the movement of your breath as it enters and leaves your body. Count your breaths to maintain focus and keep your mind from wandering. Count each inhale and exhale cycle as one breath. You can also practice mindful breathing by focusing your attention on your breath and trying to slow down your breathing. Inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of two, and exhale for a count of six. This exercise can help you relax and reduce anxiety.
Another technique is to use a mantra, a word or phrase that you repeat to yourself. Choose a word or phrase that resonates with you, such as "peace" or "calm." Repeat it to yourself silently as you breathe in and out.
Visualization is another powerful tool that can help you manage stress and anxiety. Close your eyes and visualize a peaceful scene, such as a beach or a forest. Use all your senses to imagine the sights, sounds, and smells of the scene. This exercise can help you feel more relaxed and calm.
The most important piece of advice that we can provide is practice regularly. It's essential to remember that meditation and deep breathing exercises are not a magic cure for stress and anxiety. They are a practice that will help you over time to create the tools to address your stress and anxiety when they arise. The more you practice, the easier it becomes to quiet your mind and let go of stress and anxiety. Aim to practice for at least 10-15 minutes a day. You can start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as you get more comfortable.
In conclusion, managing stress and anxiety is crucial for our mental and physical health. Meditation and deep breathing exercises are powerful tools that can help us calm our mind, reduce tension in our body, and feel more relaxed and focused. By practicing regularly, we can learn to manage our stress and anxiety better and lead a more peaceful and fulfilling life. Remember to be kind to yourself, be vulnerable, and reach out for help when you need it. Thank you for reading, and take care.
If you have tried everything and can not seem to move forward on your own, a recovery coach or companion may be able to provide the motivation and accountability to help you achieve what you previously thought was impossible. Reach out and we will help you understand the resources that are available to you and guide you through the difficult process of recovering from substance use, disordered eating, and other mental health disorders.
Disclaimer: Recovery Frameworks offers a non-clinical support service. The services and programs provided by Recovery Frameworks do not include medical advice, including diagnoses, medical care, or clinical treatment. Services should only be used in conjunction with the guidance and care of your doctors, therapists, consultants, and/or providers in part of your treatment team.