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5 Meditation Techniques to Improve Dual Diagnosis Recovery

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Is dual diagnosis recovery harder than recovery from just substance abuse? People who struggle with dual diagnosis struggle with substance abuse and mental health problems.

They may feel that their challenges are harder, more significant or that their battle is harder to win.  The truth is that the battle against addiction is challenging. There is no scale to rate how challenging recovery is,  each of us struggles with our own recovery and our own individual challenges.

There are many techniques and tools for helping us along the path to dual diagnosis recovery, including group therapy and meetings.  Many people find that the hardest time for them is when they are alone or feel as though they cannot reach out for support.

During those times, meditation techniques can be helpful for reducing stress and focus on finding the inner strength to maintain a sober lifestyle.  Here are some easy-to-do meditation techniques that can be used wherever, whenever to help you find the inner strength to make positive life choices.

Visualization Meditation

A simple technique to help reduce stress and meditate during dual diagnosis and addiction treatment is through visualization. The technique focuses on finding inner peace through imagination.

How to do it: Close your eyes and imagine something or someplace that is relaxing. Depending on what works for you, a good visualization might include thinking of a beach with the relaxing sound of waves or thinking of a peaceful clearing in a forest. Imagining a peaceful location can help sooth your mind and will help the body relax. Tension, stress and anxiety are all enemies to your recovery.

Counting for Dual Diagnosis

A counting technique is a simple way to fight addiction and a mental health condition. Meditation is not complicated, but counting is one of the easiest ways to avoid focusing on negatives in life.

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How to do it: This meditation technique requires counting to four while breathing in and then counting to eight while breathing out.  You can say the numbers out loud or to yourself. Repeating the same four and eight count a few times will help clear the mind of anything beyond the numbers.

The slow, concentrated breathing and repetition of the numbers is soothing and can be done anywhere when you experience a trigger for your dual diagnosis conditions or stressful situation.

Focusing on a Flower

Beginners in meditation will find that focusing on an item will help reduce the challenge of the activity. A simple focusing item for meditation is a flower. Roses are ideal due to the complex appearance, but any flower or object that you can focus on without straining will work.

How to do it: This meditation technique focuses on looking at the details of the object.  As your mind begins to look for smaller and more intricate patterns and details, it will push other things aside, relax and become clear.

Deep Breathing

A variation on the counting technique, deep breathing is a meditation technique that is helpful when fighting against dual diagnosis conditions. The meditation technique focuses on taking a deep breath in through the nose and then slowly releasing the breath.

How to do it:  Take a deep breath in and focus on feeling the breath fill your nose, throat and lungs.  Then slowly breathe out, focusing on pushing all of the air out of your lungs. The mental focus during meditation is on the breath, which eliminates the cravings for substances and takes the mind away from the worries related to mental health concerns.

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Om Meditation

Om meditation techniques are well-known to people who practice yoga and similar exercises. Om meditation can be very effective for people suffering from dual diagnosis as the sound, exercise and breathing are found to be very relaxing and soothing to the brain and body. Some people report feeling their stress melt away when performing this type of meditation.

How to do it: The individual sits in a lotus position or cross-legged and takes a breath in. During the release of the breath, the word “om” is drawn out along the breath. The mind focuses on the word “om” and eliminates the worries and stress from the body.

Meditation is useful during addiction treatment because it allows the mind to eliminate worries, cravings and other problems. By focusing on relaxation and stress reduction, mental health concerns will become more controlled and addiction is easier to fight.

If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental health condition and substance abuse, it is called dual diagnosis, and there is effective help available to help you and your loved one regain control of their life. Please call us today.

Our counselors can help you deal with physical, emotional and psychological consequences of drug abuse and other mental health disorders.  Dual diagnosis treatment is effective, safe and has helped many men reclaim their lives. Destination Hope is a full-service drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment facility in Florida for men and women suffering from substance abuse issues.

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