The Power of Mantras During Addiction Recovery
“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” – Steve Maraboli
A study in the U.S. Library of Medicine (2015) found that repetitive speech elicits widespread deactivation in the human cortex or the “Mantra” effect. Translation – this repetition resulted in the positive, psychological calming effect associated with mantra-related meditative practices. So what does this study mean for those in addiction recovery?
One of the best ways to stay sober and prevent recurrence of use is to engage in positive thinking and mantras are incredibly powerful tools to do this. Recovery is a rollercoaster – some days, sobriety seems easy, other days are full of feelings of regret, cravings, and negativity. By practicing mantras each day, you can maintain a sense of routine, which is vital to relapse prevention. Mantras focus the mind and calm the body during meditation and yoga. However, mantras can also take the form of positive daily affirmations. Whether you use traditional Sanskrit mantras or modern-day affirmations, both can help you move through the toughest periods of recovery.
- Mantras or affirmations distract the mind from negative thoughts that can creep in during recovery, helping to anchor the mind in concentration and focus.
- Chanting releases emotion through self-expression, allowing you to channel emotions positively. It also helps you experience quiet awareness of the world around you, grounding you.
An Exercise to Try
The famous spiritual guru Deepak Chopra suggests (Oprah.com) this mantra to recite during times of crisis: “I will say yes to change.” As you repeat this mantra, he suggests to take a moment during this practice and:
- Sit quietly with your eyes closed and take a few full breaths. Bring awareness to a current situation that is making you feel uncomfortable. To recognize what happens when you resist experience through aversion, experiment with saying no. As you connect with the pain, try to push it away. What effect does the “no” have on your body and your feelings?
- Take a few more deep breaths and let go of any tension. Recall the painful situation again, but this time invite it in, saying yes to it. Even if there is fear or shame, let the emotions arise in a state of acceptance. What happens to your body now?
- Release the residue of thoughts and settle into the feeling of simple awareness.
Treatment for addiction
If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health condition and a substance use disorder or addiction, get help now. Mental health and substance use disorders often co-occur and need to be treated simultaneously as a dual diagnosis for the best outcome in recovery. Get help today and take the first step toward restored health, a renewed spirit, and a fulfilling and enjoyable sober lifestyle. Contact us today at 1-833-2DAYLIGHT to get the help you need.