When it comes to building your recovery program, it is important to build a plan that works for you. No one plan is alike. More and more counselors today are encouraging people to build mindfulness meditation into their recovery plan.

What is mindfulness meditation? Meditation can mean a variety of different things. Mindfulness meditation is about being in the present moment and being aware of your surroundings. Research has shown there are many benefits to meditation such as decreasing your stress level which often lowers your cortisol levels, it can help promote relaxation, can help with sleep and improve your overall well being.
Practicing mindfulness medication can be as simple as practicing deep breathing exercises in a quiet room, following a simple guided meditation, or completing a body scan. They can be as short as 5 minutes or even as long as an hour depending on what works for you. There are many free downloadable apps for your phone that can be used as a resource to help get you started.

Why build mindfulness meditation into your recovery plan? According to Ollie Stocker, licensed psychotherapist, many gamblers often “respond to addictive urges without awareness”. By practicing mindfulness meditation, it can help a person become more aware of the present, be more in tune with their body sensations, and can help lower stress. Ollie reports that the goal of meditation is to “slow the brain down”. Most often, gamblers are “thinkers”, meaning the mind of often kept busy with the “preoccupation” of gambling, meaning planning out the money and the events even before the actual gambling takes place. Practicing mindfulness meditation allows the person to slow the brain down, and can then focus on the present instead of being in the near future. Practicing this can not only help you in moments of stress but can also help work through moments of feeling triggers and urges.


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Source: Stocker, Ollie. Powerpoint presentation “Meditation, Mindfulness and Gambling Recovery:”