Addiction, in simple terms, refers to a process of indulging in some activity, repetitively even after knowing that the particular substance is having harmful physical and psychological effects. It’s indisputable that the use of such substances is wrong but the satisfaction derived from it overshadows this fact.
However, there’s always a solution to any problem. In this case, two of the most natural, versatile, and convenient of its solution are yoga and meditation. Yes, you don’t need any big instruments or heavy stuff to perform it. You can easily do it in the comfort and peace of your home. Things required to perform yoga are – peaceful environment, you and your focus.
YOGA MAKES YOU PHYSICALLY WELL
In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Dr Yadav and his team demonstrated the fact that yoga boosts the production of endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals involved in warding off stress.
Yoga combines the two major elements that are required for leading a healthy life, i.e., Exercise (physical movements) and meditation. Exercising plays a major role in providing dopamine and endorphins. Similarly, meditation provides a fair share of serotonin and also acts as an antidepressant. The main focus while doing Yoga is on your breath. The process of inhalation and exhalation plays a vital role here. Yoga majorly consists of postures, also known as Asanas. One of the most popular such postures is the one with crossed legs, also referred to as Padmasana. Try to keep your hands relaxed and focus on your breathing. Take systematic deep breaths, start with inhaling deeply, hold for a few seconds, and slowly exhale. If any thoughts arise during the procedure, try to focus on the sensation of air in your lungs as you continue breathing. Repeat the same procedure daily and it will significantly curb your cravings for the substance, leading to reduced addiction.
MEDITATION IS RELATED TO MINDFULNESS
Meditation is connected to your mind. Mindfulness basically means “to have full control over your brain”. It means that every thought coming in and out of your mind is by your own self. Sit in a comfortable position and focus on your thoughts. You can either close your eyes or keep them open and focus on something while performing the mediation. Now go inside your brain. Observe every thought that is coming in your brain. Don’t judge the thought. It can be good or bad. Try to process and assess your thoughts, be aware of it. Now focus how it is going outside your mind. By doing this, you will have control over your thoughts and that’s how you can practice rational decisiveness. It’ll not allow the addiction to take control of your mind.
There are various types of combination of yoga and meditation that can help you with your addiction. Some of them are listed below –
- Through Mindfulness – Mindfulness Meditation is basically associated with your thoughts. How you control them and let them flow through your body is what comes under this. To perform this one, sit in a comfortable and peaceful place with your spine straight. Put your hand on your knees or anywhere where you feel comfortable. You can close your eyes or keep them open, that’s totally upto you. Now allow your thoughts to flow through your balanced body while you focus on each and every one of them. If your focus shifts to your brain or any object, you are doing everything fine.
- Through Breathing – Breathing is a remarkable process. It’s not there to just intake oxygen in your body and take carbon dioxide out of it. In yoga, inhalation and exhalation are termed of the utmost importance. Sit in a silent environment with your body as comfortable as possible. Now put all of your focus on your breathing. Inhale deeply and exhale. If your focus shifts, reset it to your breaths.
- Through Water – This one is less known but still works like magic when it comes to calming one’s brain. It reduces the addictive thoughts and curbs the cravings for the substance. To perform this one, you should have enough time as it can consume more time as compared to other ones. Sit in a bathtub filled with hard water. You can also use extra stuff like aroma candles, soothing music. Sit comfortably in the bathtub. Now do the usual breathing meditation. You can also focus on the sound of water dripping from the tap into the bathtub. In case of unavailability of bathtubs, showers can work well, too. Water comes under nature and nature is a great healer.
- Through Movement – Movement acts as a great focus point to stray away from the addiction craving thoughts. For some people, running works better than sitting still and focusing on their thoughts. Go to a park or lakeside or a forest. Basically a place filled with nature. Connecting yourself with nature is a great healing procedure. Focus on your body while doing hectic exercises like running or sprinting or riding a bicycle. Focus on the blood running in your veins, your heavy breathing, your feet touching the ground while running or sprinting or pedaling while bicycling. Connect with nature, connect with your thoughts, connect with yourself.
Yoga and meditation makes your mind and body calmer and more sound. They directly affect your anxiety inducing thoughts that result in using drugs or alcohol repetitively. They create a sense of self awareness in one’s body. The call of duty of taking control of your life and not allowing those substances to make you feel happy or in their terms ‘high’.
When people feel better, they eat better, sleep better, handle day to day life better, and handle negative energy like stress, depression etc. better. All this happens because of actions. Actions that lead to life-turning moments. Actions that cure you for a better future. Yoga is a spiritual process. It helps you to connect with your spirit. Spirit is where everything begins. And by working on it, by enabling it’s powers, any amount of stress or negative energy doesn’t allow you to consume life threatening substances that lead to addictions.
Using Yoga and Meditation is extremely helpful while treating your addiction, be it drugs or alcohol or any self-destructive activity. Nowadays, these are also used in various rehabilitation centres. Earlier, they were not considered as a way to treat addicted people, but now, slowly and gradually, people are learning more about this and benefiting from it.