Our lives are full of chaos and distractions. Throughout our days, we are constantly stimulated by technology. Between our phones, televisions, radio, and other devices, it's easy to go a full day without ever really taking time alone in silence to process your emotions or how you're feeling.
Substance use is also a type of distraction. People turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of temporarily avoiding their problems or negative emotions instead of confronting them head-on. When you begin your recovery journey and don't have that distraction any longer, you can begin to start learning how to find peace from stillness. Within stillness, we can find rest and be more in tune with who we are. This can be accomplished through practicing meditation, journaling and simply changing our day-to-day habits.
How Do I Practice Meditation?
Meditation can seem strange or intimidating to those who have never practiced it before. However, it doesn't have to be complicated. It's completely free, you don't need a membership or any equipment, and you can do it from the comfort of your own home. The goal of meditation is to help connect the mind and body and be more physically present. Some additional benefits that can come out of meditation include decreased stress and anxiety levels, a better sense of focus, a better understanding of physical ailments, and lower levels of brain chatter. There are countless apps and videos on the internet that can walk you through how to meditate, and there are many different methods of meditation. What counts is figuring out what works for you. If you're a beginner, try out the following steps.
#1. Pick a place to meditate. This should be somewhere calm and quiet where you're not going to get interrupted, such as your bedroom or a secluded spot in nature. You're also going to want to decide how long you're going to meditate. Some people who are advanced will go long periods of time while meditating, but in the beginning, you can stick to a short session, such as 5 to 10 minutes. You can set a timer on your phone so that you'll be alerted when the time is up, and you won't have to keep checking to see what time it is.
#2. Do some light stretches. Because you'll be sitting in the same position for a long period while meditating, it can be helpful to stretch your body to avoid cramping and relax your body.
#3. Sit in a comfortable position. Many people choose to sit on the floor, but you can also sit in a chair with your feet on the ground. The most important thing is that you're comfortable. Some people like to meditate while in a yoga pose, but not everyone is flexible enough to do this comfortably, so just go with whatever works for you.
#4. Focus on your breathing. Once you're seated in a comfortable position, you can begin to meditate. Start by focusing on your breathing as it goes in and out. You can choose to close your eyes if you want, but if you feel like this will make you too sleepy, you can keep them open. Remember that the goal is to focus and relax but not to fall asleep or fall into a trance-like state.
#5. Relax your body. Pick one area of your body and focus on completely relaxing it. You can then move on to the next area of your body until you're completely relaxed.
You might not feel much different after your very first time meditating, but keep it up, and before long, you'll likely feel more grounded and focused.
How Do I Change My Daily Habits?
There are simple daily habits you can do to focus on stillness and live a more peaceful life. Some examples include:
#1. Journaling. It allows you to process your emotions and clear your head by getting jumbled thoughts out onto paper.
#2. Be present. Work on being fully present when you're spending time with loved ones. This involves putting your phone away and truly focusing on your conversation.
#3. Limit your social media usage. Social media takes us out of the present and causes us to focus on other people's lives instead of ourselves. It can also increase anxiety and depression.
#4. Get out into nature. In nature, there are fewer distractions. You can enjoy the sense of peace that comes with being away from technology as well as the simple joys of birds chirping and the sun shining on your face.
Our lives are filled with chaos and distraction. We often don't spend enough time enjoying the peace that comes from stillness and simply existing. Substance use is also a distraction that holds one back from being truly present. Once you start your recovery journey, you'll be better able to find stillness in your day-to-day life. One of the best ways to lower your stress levels and enjoy stillness is through practicing meditation. This practice can help you feel more grounded and focused. You can also try journaling, spending more time out in nature, and limiting your social media usage as much as possible. This can all help you to better live in the moment. If you or someone you know is currently struggling with substance use disorder, our team at the Ho Tai Way can help. Call (714) 581-3974 today to learn more about the different services that we provide.