Mindfulness meditation is gaining popularity amongst millennials in recovery and giving them a feeling of control and empowerment. Exploring meditation can help to achieve mindfulness and calm the effects of mood swings, detoxing, and the general stress of starting life over again in recovery. Practiced in many cultures throughout history, meditation and mindfulness have been gaining popularity in the US over the past few decades. People are using meditation as part of their recovery to help ease symptoms of cravings and triggers, as well as many mental health issues. Calming the mind and being mindful in the moment offers many benefits to those on their recovery journey.
Millennials at Risk
This age group, born between 1981 and 1996, is a vast demographic that generally makes up about a third of the workforce and military. This large number of millennials, means that their individual needs are varied, and their recovery journeys tailored uniquely to the individual. There are many programs available at Ashley Addiction Treatment that target this vulnerable group of adults and their wide range of lifestyles. Millennials have been described as more likely to die from substances, alcohol, or suicide than other age groups for various reasons. The lack of accessible, affordable healthcare, rising housing costs, and crippling educational debt can impact people’s day-to-day life. When you add the side-effects of screen culture and the increased sense of isolation that comes with social media, it is easy to see why millennials are increasingly at risk.
Mindfulness and Millennials
Millennials are open and receptive to trying new things including meditation and mindfulness. The healthiest way to engage these practices is to understand how the brain embraces the practice of mindfulness. The mind is designed to adapt constantly to changes, as seen in substance use behaviors. When the substances are taken away, the brain can adjust when given time. Mindfulness can help center a person’s thoughts and ease the anxiety of living a new life without substance use. Some of the ways millennials can add mindfulness to their recovery include:
- Notice and consciously recognize joy, kindness, and beauty.
- Be aware of your reactions to situations and look for patterns.
- Verbally express appreciation and gratitude.
- Take a moment and breathe before reacting.
- Think about the consequences before speaking.
The Practice of Meditation
Meditation takes time to incorporate into someone’s journey of recovery, but just 15 minutes a day is enough to see results. Just like learning an instrument or new skill, meditation takes practice and a level of commitment to master. Fortunately, there are different styles and ways to meditate and achieve a still mind. Here are a few to get you started, but do some research and pick the technique that best suits your lifestyle, and remember, practice makes perfect.
- Guided meditation is a great place to start, and you can find sessions for free on YouTube or download one of the many meditation apps available.
- Visualization is used for focusing on experiences and emotions that help to raise positivity and confidence.
- Breath work is a form of meditation focused on specific breathing patterns and durations.
- Movement meditation.
- Mantra meditation.
Over time, and after daily practice, the brain will easily slip into a meditative state. Even just sitting in your parked car and meditating with your favorite music can help gain mindfulness. Explore and try different types of meditation to bring healing space to the mind and help bring a calmness to your life.
The human brain is an amazing organ, a biological supercomputer capable of incredible adaptation and regenerative power. The grey matter in the brain is called the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). This structure is located behind the brain’s frontal lobe. It is associated with functions like self-regulatory processes and allowing cognitive flexibility. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for planning, problem-solving, and emotional regulation. The hippocampus experiences healing with meditation and mindfulness, helping people deal with stress, depressive disorders, and PTSD symptoms. Mindfulness and meditation have been shown to alleviate the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or mental health issues, like PTSD or anxiety. A calm still mind helps to cope with the pain associated with recovery and gives power back to the person.
A mindfulness practice also helps with what is called “Monkey Mind” or when the brain wanders from thought to thought aimlessly, without being focused and intentional. Meditation can tame the Monkey Mind and bring a calm, steady mindset to the forefront of the person’s recovery. People become less reactive and more accepting without wandering about in the mind and body. Mindset directly affects a person’s health, and taking care of the brain is as important as taking care of physical fitness for millennials in recovery. Controlling the Monkey Mind will aid in the journey of healing in recovery and building processes to achieve success for the long haul.
Ashley Addiction Treatment is an innovative treatment program located on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. Ashley provides support for professionals seeking help with addiction. We are able to help people with co-occurring disorders and offer confidential treatment programs to meet your needs. Please reach out to us today at 800-799-4673.