Last Updated on December 27, 2021 by Dr. Alberto Solà

Mediation is wonderful! It will change your life, and in some ways, it will even set you free. Although meditation may, for some, seem shrouded in mystery, it is actually quite simple, and can easily be enjoyed by all. Mindfulness is meditation in action, and can be experienced truly anywhere and at any time to help center you, focus you, and relax you, while training the mind to be more settled at all times. Both of these practices can be a big help to individuals working on their recovery from drugs and alcohol. If you are just getting started, or, if you are a long-term meditator already, there are a wide variety of apps available to guide or bolster your practice further.

Read on to find out the ways that meditation can help to support your recovery process, and to learn about the many meditation and mindfulness apps that exist to help you along the way.

What Are Meditation and Mindfulness?

Meditation has been around for thousands of years and some of the first written records of meditation practice were found in India and date to 1500 BCE. It has been a part of many if not most religions, and has secular adaptations around the world that have been practiced for centuries as well.  Some people use it to feel a better connection to a higher power, and others use it to more deeply understand themselves. Research shows that meditation can be effective in stress reduction as well as in treating anxiety, depression and pain. Many who meditate report greater feelings of self-esteem, understanding, and overall well being, and even to non-meditators, frequent meditators often appear especially laid back and often serene as they participate in life’s daily activities and in communicating with others. 

There are hundreds of forms of meditation.  Prayer can be considered meditation, but meditation is certainly not exclusive to prayer. More often, meditation is practiced through simple focus and attention on the breath or other object of focus such as the chanting of a mantra, the burning of a flame, the expression of a koan, or the outward sending of love or other emotions.

Mindfulness is really a form of meditation. In meditation, the practitioner usually sits and focuses quietly upon his or her meditation practice. Mindfulness involves similar focus but it can be done anywhere. You can eat mindfully by fully noting and experiencing every bite you chew. You can wash your dishes mindfully while really making an effort to feel and hear the water as you do your work. You can walk your dog mindfully while you keep your mind focused on the task without letting it wander. Mindfulness is truly living in the moment, and the more we practice it, the better we get at it and the easier it becomes.

How Can Meditation and Mindfulness Support Recovery

Meditation and mindfulness can help support recovery. If you develop a regular meditation or mindfulness practice, it will strengthen your defenses against triggers and relapse. Studies have shown that meditation helps people to redirect their attention when necessary and it can help to build willpower. Other research found that meditation can help people to more easily control their emotions and can enable them to be able to more deeply understand the causes behind their addictive behaviors.  Another study taught nineteen recovering alcoholics how to meditate and the participants found that their ability to deal with craving-related stress improved immensely.

Although meditating can be frustrating at first, it does get easier over time – that’s why it’s called a practice, after all. Consistency is key; many experts say that it doesn’t matter how long you meditate each day, but making a concerted effort to meditate at least briefly each day can lead to incredible results over time. And, once you get into the regular habit, you can increase the time each day until you find out exactly what works best for you.

Best Meditation and Mindfulness Apps

One way to ensure that you participate in meditation and mindfulness each and every day is through use of an app. There are a wide variety of meditation and mindfulness apps out there today. Some are free, and others cost either a one-time fee or an ongoing subscription. Regardless of which you choose, these apps can be configured to remind you to practice every day, and if you pay attention and stick with it, you will soon have built an effective and ongoing habit that will benefit you greatly.

  • Headspace is probably the most well-known meditation app there is and the company has partnerships with several other companies such as Weight Watchers, Nike, and a number of airlines. The app includes meditations that update daily, sleep focused meditations, multi-session programs, group meditation and more. However, it will cost you; after a free trial, it will cost you almost $100 a year, but most people who use it feel that cost is well worth all users receive.
  • Insight Timer is one of the largest and most widespread mindfulness and meditation apps. It is free, and has a number of features including over 4,000 guided meditations and a timer for meditation on your own.
  • The Mindfulness App costs $59.99 for a year after a seven day free trial, which is a bit less than Headspace, and offers a five day guided practice to get you started, timed sessions, meditation reminders and mindfulness notices, 250+ guided meditations, and more.
  • Simply Being is affordable and simple. The apps main focus is a meditation session timer, but like the others, this app also includes voice-guided meditations for people who need or enjoy them. Relaxing nature sounds to use when meditating are another bonus of this app.
  • Sattva is special because it serves as a conduit to connect meditators. You can use it to link up with people you already know to meditate with them, or you can join a group of people you don’t know to form a meditation group that can reach around the world. It will help beginning meditators to stay motivated because other people will be counting on them to show up and meditate collectively.
  • Calm is yet another popular app that aims to get users meditating and experiencing all the benefits that come along with meditation and mindfulness. Calm costs $9.99 a month or $58.99 a year and includes many of the same features offered by the apps listed above.

When it comes to meditation apps, a lot of it comes down to personal preference. All paid meditation apps offer a free trial at first, so feel free to try several to help determine the right one for you. Regardless of which you choose, the important thing is that you start meditating today if you haven’t already. You will be amazed by the benefits, and soon you will be eagerly looking forward to meditation every day.  Good luck!

At Clear Sky Recovery, we are here to help you get started on your path to recovery.  Our iboga therapy is innovative and effective, and our staff is standing by to answer any questions you may have about our staff, our facility, or the process.  Please give us a call today!  We can’t wait to hear from you!