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Stress & Meditation
By FatherOfOne
2/3/2013 2:22:10 PM
I wanted to take today to remind myself and teach all of you a bit about one of the addict's worst enemies: stress.

Stress sucks for a few reasons. For one, its stressful. For another, it drives me to seek things that relieve that stress. And nothing relieves stress more than a rush of hormones and neurotransmitters designed to provide euphoria and pleasure. Aka, my addiction.

What some of us don't realize is that the more stress we experience on a daily basis, the more we are at risk to slip up and give into our addictions. I am a father of two kids (one is 2 and the other 6 weeks), I am a masters student studying neuroscience, and I have multiple other responsibilities. I have stress all over the place, and there isn't a lot I can do to reduce the amount of things coming at me. So what's the solution?

Stress reduction. There are multiple ways of dealing with stress, but there is one that is more tried and true than almost any other: mindfulness meditation. Now, before you think I've become a monk, hear me out. Meditation in general is a technique that teaches you control over your own thoughts, including the content, power, and perception of those thoughts. I haven't done it a lot, but what I have experienced so far is amazing. If I do it on a regular basis, I can recognize addictive thoughts and more easily dismiss them. You see, we are not our thoughts, and they don't have to control us. Not only that, but if we can train ourselves to dismiss certain thoughts, we can actually dismiss stressful feelings too.

So give it a shot! Do a little research and try out some meditation. The easiest method is to sit in a chair and just focus on your own breathing. Any time your thoughts wander, simply acknowledge the thought, and return to the breathing. If you do it for 15 minutes, you'll be amazed at how much better you feel. More than that, you'll be amazed at how much more control you have over your addiction.

Comments:

Step 11    
"Agreed. Meditation is my most important daily. There are also step 11 AA meetings where the group sits quietly (mediates or prays) the whole time after some reading at the beginning. One of the most fantastic meetings I've ever been too."
posted at 20:51:13 on February 3, 2013 by Anonymous
Hmmmmmm    
"Sounds interesting. Gonna try it out. :)"
posted at 22:26:06 on February 3, 2013 by G1rlie
It's good to change it up    
"Meditation sounds like a good technique. What I've learned from good techniques is they may work only when we are consistenly using them. One thing about those kind of things is we will eventually get tired of them or our addiction will morph and adapt to what we are doing. I am a firm believer of calling a trusted member of a 12 step group church affiliated or not. My sponsor is not LDS but he has more sobriety than all the guys in the addiction recovery meetings.
I'm also in getting my master's degree in advanced practice nursing aka Nurse Practitioner. I have two daughters 5 and 2. I am quite familiar with stress. I have made a commitment to call my sponsor or somone else to end the secrecy of my addiction. Secrecy is where addiction thrives which is why the 12 step is so geared towards open sharing. I go to meetings, I try and meditate, I make daily calls to my sponsor to admit my powerlessness everyday. I'm living 24 hours at a time."
posted at 22:54:54 on February 3, 2013 by down not out


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"My brethren who are caught in this addiction or troubled by this temptation, there is a way. Don’t accommodate any degree of temptation. Prevent sin and avoid having to deal with its inevitable destruction. So, turn it off! Look away! Avoid it at all costs. Direct your thoughts in wholesome paths. Please heed these warnings. Let us all improve our personal behavior and redouble our efforts to protect our loved ones and our environment from the onslaught of ography that threatens our spirituality, our marriages, and our children. "

— Dallin H. Oaks

General Conference, April 2005