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Meditation to Release Addictions
Addictions are often a disguise to protect us from an overindulgent fear from lack of control or feeling overwhelmed. In this meditation, we incorporate many tools to create a change in your emotional and energetic system. We examine root causes of fear such as: Failing to meet expectations, loss, loneliness, or a potential series of challenges.
This meditation can be used for any type of addiction including: Abusive relationships, too much time playing video games, smart phones, food, cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs or anything else causing a negative result you wish to change.
Energetically, addictions come from tears in our energetic body that can be sealed with light, healing the loss of energy from within. We also handle the judgment of our fears, shame, and what we may be hiding from.
People often feel weightless after doing this meditation and able to move freely in a way they have not done so in a long time. The experience can be a kind of liberation.
It can also help a person to notice cravings before they take hold of you and experience them without having to reach for them. It can help to let go of needs and attachments that are unhealthy for us with new ways to cope with stress.
Researchers from Yale recently found that a 4-week mindfulness training program 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-from 18/day to 2/day and 35% of smokers quit completely! In a four-month follow-up, over 30% maintained their abstinence.1
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. After 11 hours of practice, they found actual physical changes in the brain around this area.2
Although rigorous research on the use of meditation for addiction relief is still in its infancy, the results show great promise for binge eating disorder, cigarette addiction and alcohol relapse prevention. It has even reduced marijuana and crack consumption in trained prison inmates! (3,4,5)
One of the first steps in dealing with addiction is to discover the emotional cause of it, whether it is fear, depression, anxiety, or pessimism. Our fear in these states of unhappiness convinces us that we 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. Our lack of control in these areas or unfulfilled desires leads us to overwhelming and wanting to escape and draws us to addictions.
This is often coupled with other negative thought patterns such as: an unwholesome belief about how things ought to be or should have been, or a strong emotion such as anger, sadness, or jealousy.
Using meditation to go within can help us develop the capacity to see clearly exactly what we’re attached to so that we can let go of it and move towards the end of our suffering.
A self-examination such as this meditation can create a new awareness allowing us to make a conscious choice to reject what has been an anchor in our growth and evolution.
Desire is an important part of being human. It causes us to strive toward a better existence, evolution, and quality of life. The downside of it can convince us that we won’t be happy or contented unless we acquire more and more. This belief can lead to competitiveness and feeling resentful toward, or envious of, those who seem to have an easier life.
17 Minute Meditation
Nothing is required in advance of this meditation. It is relaxing and uses high-frequency sounds, relaxing music, sounds of nature, Himalayan singing bowls, shamanic didgeridoo and more to put you in an alpha brain wave state.
Holistic approach based on Mind, Body & Spirit
If someone is using drugs or food to manipulate their moods I recommend a nutritional approach; a psychiatrist; or a holistic doctor, such as an integrative medical doctor, to help to break these habits. See my full blog on overcoming addiction and what herbs I recommend here.
I also recommend meditation, exercise, yoga, chi gong that all have been proven to help lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your bloodstream, increase your interleukin levels (enhancing your immune system and providing you with greater energy), and streamline your body’s ability to cleanse itself of chemical toxins, such as lactic acid in your muscles and bloodstream, which can affect neurotransmitter receptors and alter your mood (Chopra 1994; Rossi 1993).
“Over 500 studies show that meditation raises levels of serotonin, the ‘feel good’ chemical deficient in addicts,” explains Santilan. “Vipassana meditation has even been used successfully in the treatment of addictive behavior among prison populations.”
1. Mindfulness Training for smoking cessation: results from a randomized controlled trial. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 119(1-2):72-80
2. Short-term meditation induces white matter changes in the anterior cingulate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(35), 15649-15652
3. An Exploratory Study of a Meditation-based Intervention for Binge Eating Disorder. Journal of Health Psychology, 4(3), 357-363
4. Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders. 19(3), 211-228
5. Mindfulness meditation and substance use in an incarcerated population. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 20(3), 343-347