I used to think meditation was reserved for hippy types and I never had any interest in it. Since becoming sober I have found that it really is the ultimate tool to have in your arsenal, especially when it comes to ensuring you are totally calm and at peace in your life.
Our brains generate millions of thoughts every day, most of the thoughts are just nonsense, but sometimes we latch onto a thought and let it have energy. Mine would be along the lines of “why don’t you just have a glass of wine, you deserve one”. Then we act on the thought and cause ourselves distress and damage. Meditation helps still the mind and allows you to simply observe your thoughts as if they were a flowing river passing in front of you sat on the grassy bank, instead of getting caught up in the fast flowing current and washed away in the rapids.
I used to suffer from pretty bad anxiety, my mind would race all the time and I would constantly be worrying about what might happen in the future or go wrong in my life, everything was ‘what if?’.
When I stopped drinking alcohol I found that the dark clouds of anxiety that had hung over me for years blew away, they were replaced with sunny skies. However, I still get the odd pang of anxiety from time to time and life will always deliver moments of stress and challenges that we have to deal with, there is no escaping this.
I had read about the benefits of meditation and become interested in finding out more so I decided to download an App called Calm which has a library of guided meditations, I wanted to give it a try for myself.
The first few attempts to meditate weren’t great, as I sat still with my eyes closed my mind was racing and thoughts kept whizzing through my head. However, after a few more sessions I found that I could still my mind and even after 10 minutes of being still I was so much more relaxed and calmer than when I started. I really enjoyed the feeling of peace and calm I was left with after meditating.
I try to meditate each day, even if it is only for 10 minutes. I have found the more often I meditate the easier it is to still my mind and the sense of calm becomes stronger and I feel more relaxed.
As well as the Calm App, I have found some excellent guided meditations on YouTube, I simply put my headphones in, lay back and let the calm wash over me.
Meditation is a brilliant tool for anyone struggling with sobriety, when your mind is racing with thoughts of drinking alcohol it gives you something to turn to and will allow you to still your mind and erase those thoughts instead of getting caught up in them and letting them run away with themselves and overtake you. It really does work and I recommend giving it a try.
Below are a couple of my favourite guided meditations from YouTube, plug in your headphones, lay back and give them a try.
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