Addiction is a state of mind and the body, where one feels distant from ease. Anyone who struggles with gambling addiction doesn’t feel “at ease” when they are not gambling.
It is precisely this lack of ease that compels a person to reach for something to try to feel better, to move them closer to ease. It makes sense that any practice that can bring ease to the body and mind, and is productive rather than destructive, will be a key ingredient on the path of recovery from addiction.
We explore spirituality awakening without being religious, by sitting quietly for a few moments and letting go of all the burdens and anxieties that are so much a part of life. Bringing the attention to the heart, and to conscious breathing.
The physical practice of yoga and meditation, along with breath practices, serves to detoxify the body and calm the mind.
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing.The practice originated in India about 5,000 years ago and has been adapted in other countries in a variety of ways. Yoga has now become commonplace in many places.
Most studies suggest yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance.Regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress. Yoga improves circulation and lung capacity, it stretches and strengthens muscles. Giving a workout to the organs will improve digestion and regulates the nervous and endocrine systems.
Meditation is a powerful tool that allows that connection with the higher-self, it also:
Mindfulness is about observation without criticism; being compassionate with yourself. When unhappiness or stress hover overhead, rather than taking it all personally, you learn to treat them as if they were black clouds in the sky, and to observe them with friendly curiosity as they drift past.
In essence, mindfulness allows you to catch negative thought patterns before they tip you into a downward spiral.
It begins the process of putting you back in control of your life.
Since mindfulness focuses on the non-judgmental awareness of thoughts, feelings and cravings, patients are discouraged from ‘fighting’ cravings that typically results in a negative state of being.
The intense craving for gambling is one way humans manifest this desire to ‘hold on’. Mindfulness thus increases our awareness of these desires and ultimately gives us the power to release these negative desires once and for all.
Only recently has been known in the West. A typical meditation consists of focusing your full attention on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Focusing on each breath in this way, allows you to observe your thoughts as they appear in your mind, and little by little, to let go of struggling with them. You come to realise that thoughts come and go of their own accord; that you are not your thoughts. You can watch as they appear in your mind, seemingly from thin air, and watch again as they disappear, like a soap bubble bursting.
This profound understanding that thoughts and feelings (including negative ones) are brief. They come and they go, and ultimately, you have a choice about whether to act on them or not.
Cravings are clearly behaviours that harm physical and mental health and are tied in with compulsions, where you feel as though you cannot stop.
Mindfulness allows you to let go of these cravings little by little by increasing our awareness of these desires and compulsions. Through this heightened state of awareness, mindfulness promotes the freedom and motivation to cease harmful activities.