Here at Gulf Breeze Recovery, we believe that holistic treatment can be very effective in helping our clients overcome their substance use disorder. Through various therapies, we help individuals addicted to drugs or alcohol heal, recover, and avoid relapse. We do so by having dedicated therapists and instructors who can guide clients through holistic therapy like guided meditation.
Meditation is an effective therapy for nearly everyone. We started using this meditation here at Gulf Breeze Recovery to help struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol. We found that it’s beneficial in helping bring this calmness to our guests seeking a non-12 step, holistic treatment program.
Meditation in Addiction Recovery
Our counselors and therapists will guide clients through the stages of meditation. We do this in both individual or one-on-one sessions and group therapy. In both instances, the process is similar. First, the focus is on an individual’s breath. Breathing with your awareness on your breath, ask clients to count backward from 5 to 1 slowly.
We guide individuals as they go backward mentally, repeat and visualize each number three times to themselves. This will enhance your ability to visualize, so take your time and let your mind be as creative as it likes. Remember, there is no right or wrong way, so let’s begin. The countdown is as follows:
- Inhale visualize 5, exhale: 5, 5, 5.
- Inhale visualize 4, exhale: 4, 4, 4.
- Inhale visualize 3, exhale: 3, 3, 3.
- Inhale visualize 2, exhale: 2, 2, 2.
- Inhale visualize 1. exhale: 1, 1, 1.
While in this process, we may repeat an affirmation like “I am now deeply relaxed and feeling better than I did before.”
Individuals keep their awareness on their breath and inhale through the nose and gently exhale through the mouth. As individuals inhale and exhale, they should focus on imagining a beautiful light surrounding their bodies. We want to visualize being enveloped in this beautiful light as if in a bubble.
Clients can put a color to this light. Just choose something that’s calming, relaxing, and soothing. As they imagine themselves enveloped in this light, imagine that one is breathing this light into the body with each inhalation. With every exhalation, we are releasing the tension, negativity and relaxing more fully.
As you inhale, imagine breathing this light in through your nose, swirling it around from the top of your head down deep into the back of your eyes, through your cheeks, down into your jaws to the back of your head. Swirling, relaxing, and calming. With your exhalation, release any tension or negativity that you may be feeling.
Continuing to Focus on Breathing
As clients work through guided meditation, there will be a continuous focus on breathing. Individuals breathe in deep breathing in this light. Our instructors will ask clients to imagine it’s swirling in the back of their neck and their throat. It softens in their throat and spreads down shoulders, arms, forearms, and all the way to the fingertips. Relaxing, healing, calming energy, releasing any tension you’re feeling with your breath as you exhale.
It’s important to visualize this beautiful energy coming in and going into one’s chest or heart center, relaxing all muscles. As individuals exhale, they release any tension or negativity. Bring the light in with the next breath, breathe it deep down into the abdomen and to the mid-back. Imagine that beautiful light swirling, calming, relaxing, and healing. Exhale any tension or negativity felt.
With the next inhalation, take this beautiful light and breath deeper down into the pelvic area. Imagine it’s swirling, calming, relaxing, and healing as it spreads down to the thighs relaxing and calming. Exhale any tension. Bring this light deep into the calves, heels, the arches of feet, and all the way through one’s toes. Imagine this beautiful light swirling, calming, and healing, and with exhalation, let go of any residual tension.
Controlling Your Thoughts in Guided Meditation
If any thoughts pass through your mind during guided meditation, that’s okay. Just acknowledge them and let them pass. You can visualize this as if you’re sitting on a riverbank, and as the thoughts come into your mind, they gently flow down the stream. You are the observer as you watch thoughts pass, always knowing that this peaceful state is with you.
Now imagine that you are in a place of your own creation, a beautiful place. It can be real, or it can be imagined. You create it. It can be in the forest, on a beach, in the mountains, wherever, but imagine this place—this place where there’s complete calm, where you feel at peace, and nothing can hurt you. You start to relax and let go, knowing that this is your place, you’ve created it, and you can come here anytime you wish.
Continue to inhale and exhale, slowly look around in this special place. What do you see? Are there trees and water? You’re the creator, visualize and take it all in now. What do you hear? Are their sounds that surround you that bring you more relaxation and calm? Just listen, taking it all in, as you’re in your special place. What do you feel? The breeze caressing your skin, feel the earth, the warmth. Just allow yourself to feel and stay in this place, know that you are fully loved and cared for, have peace, and feel relaxed.
In this space, take a few moments and merely listen, knowing that wisdom resides in peace.
Closing Stages of Guided Mediation
Now bring your awareness back to the sensations in your body. Allow yourself to feel a relaxed state. Bring your attention to your breath again, knowing how the breath feels as you slowly inhale and exhale.
Take a few moments to imagine something in your life for which you were truly grateful. Anything that you feel a sense of gratitude for. Bring this to your mind, feeling this gratitude for this thing or place, or experience, whatever it may be, keep it in your mind’s eye and look at it. See it with this feeling of gratitude. Can you hear anything? Take a moment and listen in this place of gratitude. What are you feeling? Allow yourself to fill that void, and take a few moments to sit with the feeling of gratitude. As you sit with this gratitude, experiencing all the sensations and feelings, say thank you, acknowledging your acceptance.
Just feel the sensation of air as it flows in gently through your nostrils and slowly passes over your lips. Check-in with your body. How are you feeling? Acknowledge a sense of relaxation and peace. Allow yourself to feel the relaxation. With your attention on your breath, slowly allow yourself to come back to the room where you are. As I count backward from 5 to 1, you will slowly bring your attention back to space where you sit or lie. Slowly open your eyes, stretch your arms, wiggle your fingers and toes, slowly begin moving as you return to this space feeling more energized.
Discover the Benefits of Guided Meditation in Recovery at Gulf Breeze
Individuals struggling with mental health issues like anxiety or those dealing with a substance use disorder can use guided mediation to help them focus and relieve tension. Doing so can lower the risk of drug or alcohol use, prevent triggers from taking hold, and help individuals manage their emotions. Holistic therapy like this is just one of the therapeutic options we offer. Others include:
- Exercise therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Non-12 Step therapy
To learn more, reach out to Gulf Breeze Recovery today at 833.551.2304.