Addiction can ruin lives in no time. The path to recovery is not easy but yoga and meditation can help.
Addiction, one of the most taboo topics in the world right now has the power to potentially ruin and end an individuals’ life. It is known that around 11.8 million people die each year because of pf drug addiction and substance abuse. These people go through horrible journeys and in the end succumb to their addictions. These addictions don’t necessarily restrict drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, etc but can go from soft drinks to severe forms of addiction involving hard drugs.
This road, even though an extremely rocky one can be made stable with the help of yoga and meditation. But, how can activities such as yoga and meditation serve as alternatives to drug use? Read on below to find the answer and look at the importance of yoga and meditation in daily life.
Table of Contents
What Is Addiction?
It is easy to define addiction as a brain disease. A person addicted to any substance keeps getting these unbearable urges to consume more and more of said substance regardless of knowing how harmful it might be for them. A majority of the people facing addictions aren’t able to work on it because they choose to be in denial about it.
This lack of denial stems from the huge taboo that society has created about addiction but the truth is that anyone is vulnerable to getting addicted to substances. Since the topic is brought up as a disgusting element, people often either hide their addictions from their loved ones or just aren’t able to recognize it in the first place. People are often unaware of their addiction because they think the term is just meant for drug abuse when in reality addiction can be of fast food, stealing, nicotine, etc,
How To Find Out If You’re Addicted Or Not?
If you are reading this then it is a good sign that you are worried or at least curious about the state of things. The two easiest ways we can recommend you to spot out if you or someone you know is addicted to any substance is by keeping a check and using the company around you.
- By keeping a check, if you are worried about yourself then you might need to take a step back and think whether you have any control over yourself or not. It is known that 50% of the time, addiction can be in you because of your genes, and 505 of the time it can take place if you are weak-willed or do not have firm control over your urges and yourself. So, the first step is to ask yourself if you would be able to go a full week without consuming it? Are you able to do it? If yes, then good for you, things might not be as bad as you think they are. But, if you can’t do it, then you must remember that acknowledging it is the first step.
- Next up, using your company to help understand if you’re addicted or not is pretty easy. Try to keep one trustworthy friend/companion with you at all times to keep tabs on you and your consumption routines. It is important that whoever you choose to be with you in this journey is someone you trust with your whole heart and would not be ashamed in telling them in case you relapse.
Can Activities Such As Yoga And Meditation Serve As Alternatives To Drug Use?
Moving on, we know that addiction can be the sole reason for a damaged life but one can battle with it and come out as a winner as well. All addicts who choose to go to rehab programs and centers have to go through some sort of yoga or meditation daily. These sessions of yoga and mediation aren’t just there to fill up time because the mental benefits of yoga can help you in this war with addiction. These centers focus on the importance of meditation and can help give you the answer to what are the benefits of meditation and yoga.
What Are The Benefits Of Meditation And Yoga?
Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means “to join” or “unite.” It is said that yoga is a practice that can join one’s physical self with the universe. Another meaning derived from these words could be that yoga is a practice with the help of which people can connect their mind and their body.
The one question that keeps coming up is can activities such as yoga and meditation serve as alternatives to drug use and since drug use and addiction are derived from the loss of control in the mind, yoga has proved to be helpful and work as an alternative.
The importance of yoga and meditation in daily life can be understood with the help of these benefits that one gets from both of these forms of exercise.
- Mental healing
- Stress relief
- Mental relief
- Increased Stamina
- Higher energy levels
- Better sleeping patterns
Is It Better To Meditate Or Do Yoga First?
To clear up the confusion regarding the timings of meditation and yoga, it is important to remember that meditation is a part of yoga. The timing of both does play an important role. It is said that meditation should be done before yoga to concentrate better and to work on breathing. There are also certain poses and positions required in yoga which demands some level of energy.
Meditating beforehand can prepare one for all that has yet to come in the yoga session. Post yoga people also tend to be energetic and this energy can disrupt the peace and calm needed for meditation.
Importance Of Yoga And Meditation In Daily Life
Yoga is said to be extremely beneficial because it is a natural medicine that can be applied to one’s life without facing any sort of negative side effects. The importance of meditation or yoga can be taken out of the fact that addicts tend to progress towards things that make them lose control of themselves, which helps them zone out or give them an escape.
Yoga is helpful because it helps in giving addicts an avenue to channel their negative energy and turn it into positive ones. It lets the people channel their inner selves and find the empowerment to go to a peaceful and stable place in their minds.
Recovering addicts tend to have a lot of complaints about physical aches. These aches can start from the back of their neck to their back, etc, and make them feel weaker. Since these people are already going through a challenging battle, these physical aches can be the last nail in the coffin and ruin everything.
Yoga is known to be amazing at helping individuals build their strength, enhance their endurance capabilities, and help them find a spiritual path away from the everyday hustle-bustle of life.
Substance abuse also tends to create both short term and long term sleeping difficulties. Various positions in yoga such as Wide-Knee Child’s Pose, Standing Forward Bend and, etc are known to give a sense of solace and peace. Researchers at Harvard Medical School have investigated that practicing yoga can lead to major improvements in the quality and quantity of sleep for individuals.
Mental Benefits Of Yoga
There have been several pieces of research that have made it evident that there are many mental benefits of yoga. One such benefit is that yoga helps people cope with anxiety and stress and can do wonders in lowering stress levels. There is a gamma-aminobutyric in our brain which is the primary neurotransmitter. Widely distributed in the mind, GABA can control stress and anxiety levels and elevation of these can help in making one less prone to stress and anxiety.
Addicts also tend to battle depression and elevated GABA levels have shown to help people cope better in their depressive episodes as well. Negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, stress are some of the lead factors that might trigger cravings and lead recovering addicts to relapse. Physical cravings due to mental negativity have been a major element and can be tackled by using yoga and meditation.