Meditation for Addiction

Curve Curve

Meditation has been shown to be a great preventer of addiction tendencies and significantly increases recovery rates. Beeja meditation also results in greater activation of the cortex, which makes us more rational and less recklessly impulsive, making it easier to make good decisions and avoid the destructive path of least resistance.

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  • The problem

    Stress makes us much more vulnerable to developing addiction, by creating greater contrast between our status prior to the point of experience and the lushness of the subsequent high.

    Stress also makes us more likely to keep administering until we’ve crossed the threshold of addiction. And unpredictable stress only compounds the problem further.

    Stress will also inhibit the production of many important neurochemicals, which will lead us to seek replacements from recreational substances and prescription medicines.

    Interestingly, a history of stress, even from foetal or newborn life will make us much more susceptible to developing a dependency later in life. As the biologist Robert Sapolsky points out: “Stress can increase the odds of abusing a drug to the point of addiction in the first place, make withdrawal harder, and make relapse more likely.”

    As such, treating addiction often relies on reducing stress and accommodating for other factors, something rarely offered with other addiction recovery services.

  • How it affects you

    To understand meditation’s role in treating addiction, it is useful to understand how the brain responds to the activation of its pleasure pathways, and how reward mechanisms play their part.

    A key factor in our sense of pleasure is the neurotransmitter dopamine. If we lack sufficient quantities, we feel unhappy and sometimes depressed. Unfortunately, this is often the case when we’re stressed. 

    When dopamine activates our pleasure pathway, many regions of the brain light up, and one of the beneficiaries of this activation is the frontal cortex, which is responsible for executive functions, decision making and impulse control among other things.

    When something new triggers a pleasure sensation, we get a nice big hit of dopamine, but thereafter, it is not so much the reward itself which triggers the release, it is the anticipation of reward which gets the brain eagerly firing with expectation.

    Thus, we have a situation whereby any thought of the stimulus will trigger an appetite for more, especially if the present conditions are filled with any deficit of happiness or fulfilment.

    If there is certainty of reward, then we get a nice dose of dopamine. But if there is a small possibility of the reward not arriving, then the additional surprise factor gives us a massive surge of bonus release, and it becomes even more scintillating to be in appetite mode.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s shoe shopping or new lovers, we all know this feeling well.

    And the more subjectively pleasurable a person finds an activity or a drug to be, the more activation of the pleasure pathway, and the more likely we are to find ourselves liking it a little too much.

    Unless the substance in question is inescapably addictive, it isn’t so much the first exposure that is the problem; it is the repetition of exposure which undoes us. The problem mounts because our receptor sites begin to get desensitised by the tidal waves of chemicals coming their way.

    The result will be an ever-increasing spiral of wanting more, and there comes the point when all users and ‘experiencers’ of the high-eliciting stimulus start the transition: from appetite seekers to needers.

    The need is no longer about feeling euphoric, it is now about feeling normal. So why does a lack of our preferred substance make us feel so awful?

    The absence of the stimulus now leaves us feeling empty, possibly a little sad or even pretty depressed. The richness of life has been lost to us, and all we want is to feel ‘normal’ again.

    The feelings of anhedonia (lack of joy) can be so powerful that our motivation complex is completely driven by the desire to avoid the punishment of feeling horrible again.

    When the stimulant wears off, we return to reality which brings an uncomfortable level of anxiety. And because the wearing off phase is always longer than the spike high phase, it feels all the more painful. The compulsion to return to the relieving qualities of stimulus is amplified.

  • How can Beeja help?

    What makes Beeja meditation better than other ways to treat addiction? Treating addiction by itself is a tall order, but Beeja meditation has been shown to be a great preventer of addictive tendencies and significantly reduces recurrence rates.

    Beeja meditation reduces our susceptibility to stress by calming down the nervous system and the area of the brain called the amygdala. It’s this part of the brain that is always over-activated during stress and which is the trigger for the cascade of so many of the harmful effects.

    The Beeja technique gives our nervous system such deep levels of rest that the memories of stress themselves begin to lose their hold over us, increasing our robustness further.

    Beeja meditation brings a sense of fulfilment by tuning us into who we really are and what we really want. It is as if we have finally found what we have always been looking for.

    This is partly because we are now producing all the right amount of neurotransmitters and hormones and these are nourishing every part of our being. And it’s partly because our corresponding receptor sites can be cleansed of any pharmacological debris, which may otherwise have made them dysfunctional.

    Beeja meditation also results in greater activation of the cortex, which makes us more rational and less recklessly impulsive, making it easier to make good decisions and avoid the destructive path of least resistance.

    Beeja meditation will also wash out the emotional charge of the triggers that would otherwise cause us to self-destruct, a vital step in treating addiction. You know how powerful smell can be at reawakening a long forgotten memory? Well, that is exactly what it can be like for an addict when they are faced with a trigger that the body remembers as being intimately related to the process of scoring a hit.

    And the good news doesn’t stop there. Meditation will also clear out all of the toxicity brought in by any substance abuse and spontaneously build new inter-neuronal pathways.

    By working at the level of the nervous system, Beeja makes you feel calmer and more intune with the world around you.

    On the spiritual level, addiction can be viewed as a state of consciousness. If we want to overcome not only our addictions, but all our addictive tendencies, we must nourish our very being and expand our own state of consciousness.

    Beeja meditation holds the key to doing just that, making it one of the most effective ways to treat addiction.

    Harvard trained psychologist, Charles Alexander, reviewed 19 studies over a 22-year period. In 17 of the studies, there were significant reductions in the use of cigarettes, alcohol and recreational drugs amongst all age groups, ethnicities and demographics when they practised Beeja meditation and the longer people meditated, the better the outcomes.

    A German study showed that drug-addicted participants who received counselling had a 15% quit rate. Those that practiced Beeja meditation had a significant quit rate of 89%.

    A further study found that Beeja meditation was twice as effective at reducing alcoholism than conventional approaches.

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  • Reviews

    Monica, Cardiologist

    “This is clearly a life-changing experience. Once you have discovered this, it is simply impossible to go back to previous negative patterns of life...simply amazing."

    Stelios, Media Consultant

    “I’ve been meditating for 12 days now and I feel so relaxed, my wife has told me that I am like a new person. I haven’t smoked at all since that Thursday I am just not feeling the urge, it’s great!”

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“I discovered meditation in 1980... Within a week I stopped drinking, weeks later I quit smoking...I didn't need the taste, I began to feel extraordinarily well. I remember being so taken with bewildered happiness.”

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