Meditation in Recovery: Research and Benefits of Practice

Meditation physically alters the brain.

Mind over matter. This old adage encouraged us to believe that the mind is more powerful than the body, but is this actually true? What difference could a few positive thoughts possibly have in the grand scheme of things? The answer is much more than we could have anticipated. Scientific research has shown the practical and statistical benefits behind meditation as an addiction recovery technique. Let’s take a look at some of the most fascinating finds from these studies. Meditation as an Alternative Form of Prevention and Recovery One of the most highly cited studies is Treating and Preventing Alcohol, Nicotine, and Drug Abuse Through Transcendental Meditation: A Review and Statistical Meta-Analysis. The study finds that:

  • Meditation physically alters the brain. We often credit meditation for its calming effect, but very few people know that it physically changes our brain as well. You see, cells and neurons make chemical connections in response to stimuli, which is medically referred to as neuroplasticity. Because meditation reduces stress, the interconnections between neurons in the brain will change over time.
  • Health benefits are extensive. Reduced stress triggers a host of physical benefits for young men who meditate on a regular basis. For instance, 75 percent of insomniacs are able to fall asleep within a half hour of meditating, and meditation provides up to a 44 percent reduction in medical symptoms.
  • Productivity gains an incredible boost. Did you know that 40 minutes of meditation refreshes you more than a 40-minute nap? Brain scans show that meditation shifts where activity occurs in the brain, thereby slowing aging, improving memory, and boosting productivity. And the best part? These benefits are exaggerated among young men.

When utilized in a holistic drug treatment program, meditation soothes the path to sober living. For instance, just as drugs and substance abuse alter the brain, meditation changes the brain’s connections, except this time the alteration and growth is positive in nature. The result is less anxiety and depression, which are often some of the reasons that drug addiction begins in the first place. As recovery continues, the productivity gained from meditation allows young men the opportunity to rebuild their lives and explore new passions and hobbies. The overwhelming benefits of meditation couldn’t be more apparent. At Turnbridge, we incorporate meditation seamlessly into our program, allowing young men the opportunity to find their footing in New Haven. And meditation isn’t simply a tool for drug treatment. As these men grow, they’ll be able to use meditation as a technique throughout their life for personal and professional growth, development, and wellness.