By Robert L. Rupp
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Mindfulness and Addiction
Addictions generally are the side-effect of a grasping mind. When we try to cling to things beyond our reach or moments in our lives that have passed, it can sometimes lead to negative emotions or trigger unhealthy feelings. Generally, it is when an individual feels excessive helplessness toward situations in his or her life, addictions and other coping mechanisms can form to help deal with the emotions.
Unfortunately, in many cases it can be hard to truly see what is causing the emotions and what we are grasping for or reaching toward. This is where mindfulness meditation can begin to help with the discovery of the root causes for most addictions.
Meditation and practicing mindfulness can help us learn a greater capacity to see further into ourselves to explore our emotions and thoughts. Life can be full of many confusing and conflicting emotions. On occasion, an individuals core values can be violated by the actions or words of another which can also lead to addiction and the need to cope.
Depression and addiction are two very close relatives who usually take residence at the intersection of hope and desire. Through mindfulness and learning how to focus the mind and its desires, it is much easier to cut through the mental fog that can sometimes cloud the understanding of self and cause the need to drown out our emotions with things or substances. Addictions are not all drug related. Addictions to possession, power, food, sex, money, and many other compulsory behaviors can also benefit from mindfulness and meditation.
Altering the Brain Through Meditation
For a number of years many scientists believed that once the human brain entered adulthood and beyond it could not grow or change. They believed that neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to create new structures and learn) was reduced after childhood. With new research in the field of neuroscience, we now know that the brain never loses its ability to grow new structures as we age. However, some parts can become atrophied from a simple lack of use.
Over 1,000 studies have been published proving the health effects of meditation. Research by Sara Lazar, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, shows that through the practice of mindfulness meditation the brain becomes thicker. Her research has shown the pre-frontal cortex and the mid-insular regions of the brain become larger and more active with meditative practices. Her research, in addition to the work of others in the fields of science and medicine, has shown that when you begin to change your thoughts and habits the brain will develop new pathways. This means that it is possible to change the brain’s pathways and its impulses through intention and mindful attention. If the desire is there to end an addiction, meditation may provide a successful solution.
Robert Lee is giving away his entire Alpha Experience meditation series completely free to any readers of this article. Simply visit this link to download free meditation music and receive weekly support for meditation.
- The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine: Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-Being — A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
- The Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience: Biologic Effects of Mindfulness Meditation: Growing Insights Into Neurobiologic Aspects of the Prevention of Depression.
- AlcoholRehab.com: Mindfulness Meditation for Addiction Cravings
About the author:
Robert L Rupp (also known as Robert Lee) has worked as a professional in marketing, advertising, digital media, and numerous coaching fields with a focus on human potential. His aim is to help others achieve success beyond expectation. Robert is a radio host for the nationally syndicated radio show Love is the Weapon where he covers topics in neuroscience, spirituality, science, meditation, global events.
When Robert discovered his own spiritual interests and a desire to achieve higher forms of consciousness and thought in 2003, he soon learned that sounds and rhythmic auditory stimuli could effect his mental state. In 2014 Robert launched the Brain Wave Booster meditation system, the culmination of 11 years of research, study, and intrigue based on the findings of neuroscience and the practical application of various forms of spirituality.
- Email: [email protected]
Maiin image: Untitled by Lucas Girs