In Alcoholics Anonymous, Step 11 asks us to seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understand Him. This step is all about finding a deeper connection to our Higher Power. For many of us, this step brings up images of sitting cross-legged on a mountaintop, or maybe quietly saying "OM" in a darkened room. But meditation can take many forms, and it is an incredibly powerful tool that can help us in our recovery.
Meditation has been shown to be extremely effective in reducing stress, improving focus and concentration, and even increasing overall happiness. For people in recovery, who are often dealing with a great deal of stress and anxiety, learning how to meditate can be incredibly beneficial. Meditation can help us to quiet our minds, focus on the present moment, and connect with our Higher Power.
There are many different ways to meditate, so it is important to find a method that feels comfortable for you. One popular method is mindfulness meditation. To practice mindfulness meditation, find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath. As you breathe in and out, simply observe your breath without trying to control it. If your mind begins to wander, gently bring your attention back to your breath. You can also try repeating a mantra or positive affirmation to yourself during your meditation.
Another type of meditation is guided visualization. This type of meditation involves using your imagination to visualized a peaceful place or scenario. Guided visualization can be especially helpful if you are struggling with intrusive thoughts or overwhelming emotions. To practice guided visualization, find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and take several deep breaths. Once you are feeling relaxed, begin to visualize a peaceful place where you feel safe and calm. It can be somewhere you have been before or somewhere completely imaginary – it does not matter as long as it feels relaxing to you. Spend some time exploring every detail of your peaceful place before slowly coming back to the present moment.
No matter what type of meditation you choose, the important thing is that you make time for it every day. It does not have to be for hours at a time – even just 5-10 minutes of focused breathing can be beneficial. The more you meditate, the easier it will become and the more benefits you will experience.
Taking the time to meditate each day can be incredibly beneficial for recovering alcoholics. Meditation helps us reduce stress, focus on the present moment, connect with our Higher Power, and find peace and calm in our lives. There are many different types of meditation, so experiment until you find one that feels right for you then make time for it every day!