How many times do people tell you, “just breathe” or “maybe you should try meditation”? If you or your loved one is suffering from sex or porn addiction, more positively known as an intimacy disorder, chances are you’ve heard statements like these many times.
So what is this magic they call daily meditation?
What are the real benefits?
How exactly do you meditate daily?
Oxford English Dictionary defines meditation as, “the practice of focusing your mind in silence, especially for religious reasons or in order to make your mind calm.”
Daily meditation can be done anywhere without special equipment and is completely free to do.
Likewise, you do not need to have any religious affiliation or defined spiritual beliefs to meditate daily.
The Benefits of Daily Meditation
Establishing a habit of daily meditation can be beneficial for anyone. However, it is especially beneficial for those who are suffering from substance use or intimacy disorder.
Mindfulness meditation enables you to free your mind of distorting influences and achieve a state of equanimity or a neutral and calm state.
There are countless benefits of practicing daily mindfulness that can improve your quality of life. Just a few are:
- Those who practice regular mindfulness meditation find that it enhances empathy, a key component of overcoming your or your loved one’s intimacy disorder
- It is a natural way to stabilize your response to stress, meaning that you are less likely to respond negatively to triggering events
- It has been shown to help reduce your body’s response to pain
- Daily meditation has been shown to help treat disorders such as migraines, anxiety, and even depression
- It promotes greater emotional health and overall self-worth
Meditation and Recovery
While we know that this regular practice can have numerous benefits for a person in recovery, it is only one of the many tools that are taught in our 14-day Men’s Intensive Retreat.
How can something as simple as sitting in silence help you or your loved one on the recovery journey?
- Daily meditation gives the brain a “natural high” – The prefrontal cortex also referred to as the brain’s “happiness center” is super-stimulated during both intoxication and meditation. Replacing habits that have formed during substance use behaviors with meditation and mindfulness is another way to get that “high” without falling back into negative choices.
- Meditation can help you master “urge surfing” – with intimacy disorders and substance use, it can often feel like we don’t have control over our choices and behaviors. Meditation helps you learn how to become a witness to those feelings and impulses rather than fall prey to them.
- Mediation can release more of the pleasure chemical, dopamine, naturally – During our “feel good” behaviors, such as masturbation or drug use, our brain is flooded with dopamine, which creates a mental link between the act and the resulting behavior. Your brain learns that something feels good, therefore you should keep doing it. Meditation releases the same neurochemicals naturally thereby giving you an alternative way of getting that same dopamine rush without substance use.
- Meditation can help fix the deep-rooted causes of addictive behaviors – By learning how to live more consciously, you can change almost everything about your life. Meditation makes you aware of yourself and your thoughts, meaning that you are more conscious of the choices you make.
Daily Meditation: Mindfulness
You may be asking yourself what the difference between mindfulness and meditation is.
Mindfulness is merely one type of meditation. It is one of the most popular and one of the types that has the most scientific studies on it.
Mindfulness, as defined by the University of California Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine, is “… maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them…”
As Dr. Karen Kissel Wegela said, “Mindfulness meditation is unique in that it is not directed towards getting us to be different from how we already are. Instead, it helps us become aware of what is already true moment by moment.”
When you have the tools that meditation teaches you in your back pocket, you’ll find that you learn to approach previously triggering situations with more empathy, curiosity, and calmness.
Imagine, you’re doing work on your computer, an ad pops up for sexy singles in your area, something that has become a regular trigger in your life.
Rather than click on the link and fall into old habits, you recognize what is happening. You take a deep breath and begin to examine yourself, where are these thoughts and feelings coming from? They’re only here for a few moments. Take each moment of temptation as it comes until it passes completely, like a cloud passing through the sky.
Bringing awareness to your human experience and each moment of your day will give you the strength you need to start making real, positive changes in your life and your relationships.
Starting a Daily Meditation Practice
Establishing a routine of meditative practices will prove the most helpful way to get the benefits of meditation.
The most common complaint is that people feel like they don’t have time to meditate.
You do not need to meditate for hours every day. Just five to ten minutes per day will give you many of the benefits you’re seeking.
The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
- Establish a time of day to meditate – whether in the morning to help start your day on a calm note, or in the evening to help you get more restful sleep, choose one time that you can fully dedicate yourself for a few minutes.
- Find a place to be alone – meditation and mindfulness are all about being alone with yourself and remaining present with your body. So long as it is reasonably quiet and you won’t be disturbed, almost anywhere is fine. Many people find it helpful to establish a meditation space within their homes where things can feel especially relaxing for them.
- Find a comfortable posture – sitting up and being aware will help you pay attention to the moment more. With your back straight and your legs crossed, you may find that you are better able to sink into the moment. However, if you find that laying down or sitting in a chair feels better for you, do that! It’s about starting something you’ll actually do.
- Decide how you’ll meditate – will you use guided meditations on applications like Headspace or Simple Habit? Will you first try to do it alone and in silence? It’s up to you! Guided meditations can help you learn the skills you need to establish and maintain an effective and consistent meditation routine.
- Focus on your breath – the practice of focusing on your breath is one of the cornerstones of mindfulness meditation, focus on the feeling of the breath going in and out of your body, feeling it come in through your nose and out through your mouth. This simple practice will teach you to be aware of yourself and your body easily
- Be kind to yourself – your mind will always wander. When you have lost your focus on your meditation practice, kindly remind yourself to come back to your breath and focus on the moment at hand.
It may sound like a daunting task. However, incorporating just five or ten minutes of meditation into your daily routine can drastically alter the choices you make.
If you’re ready to take the first step towards healing, check out our online 6-Module Course that will give you the knowledge you need to regain control over your life and decisions.
You’re already on the road to recovery, stay present, stay aware and, most of all, stay optimistic.