(Image courtesy of Sebastien Wiertz / Flickr)
Orange County School of the Arts

Opinion: Win the battle against addiction using meditation

Meditation apps such as Calm, Headspace and Aura promote meditating every day for a happier and more peaceful life. They state that with daily meditation, true tranquility and mindfulness are easy to achieve. However, what are the true benefits of meditation?

Meditating regularly, whether every day or once a week, has been scientifically proven to abate anxious thoughts and enforce emotional health. Healthline reports that meditation increases mental and emotional health, and explores twelve various benefits of meditating. These include decreased blood pressure, pain control and improved sleep, among many others.

One benefit that stood out the most, however, was that meditation can help to fight various addictions, including smoking and drinking, according to Healthline. Reduced stress and enhanced mindfulness from being able to focus one’s mind aids in fighting addiction. With training, meditation can teach the brain to avoid using drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and more to feel happiness. 

Meditation can also train your brain to be happy and give your brain a “natural high,” instead of using drugs or addictive substances for one, according to Eoc Institute.

In a world where lung cancer is the fifth leading cause of death in the world, finding ways to battle addiction is a necessity. As 85% of those with lung cancer are smokers, ways to combat this ever-growing problem is vital. 

A writer for Thrive Global wrote about how meditation helped conquer a 15-year war against one of the most powerful “armies” — addiction to drugs and alcohol. Due to low self-esteem and never feeling enough, the author was able to condone their substance abuse by using them to ease social awkwardness and aid in feeling comfortable with himself.

However, after participating in daily meditation, he was able to find peace within, allowing him to make patiently thought out decisions. Meditation also assisted this anonymous author in drowning out self-critiques and becoming an expert in navigating social situations. He ends the article stating that fighting addiction seems impossible, but with the aid of meditation, a better life is within reach. 

Meditation should be pushed to those with addiction as an alternative so they may lead a healthier and happier lifestyle. Hopefully, doctors who work with patients struggling from the use of drugs, alcohol and more will start suggesting meditation or participating in wellness retreats for their patients.

After meditation, and with a clear mind and a rested soul, one may face their addictions head-on.