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How Mindful Meditation Can Help Prepare A Young Adult For Life

How Mindful Meditation Can Help Prepare A Young Adult For Life

How Mindful Meditation Can Help Prepare A Young Adult For Life

By: Josh White, MA, LCMHC, CGPPosted: Section: Featured Articles

Recovery from substance abuse, trauma and mental health issues isn't something that can be achieved simply by attending a primary program. Your child is likely to have fallen into some of his or her patterns of behavior because coping skills are under-developed. Learning alternative ways to cope with whatever life throws at us requires ongoing work on our part.  One of the tools available to help learn these coping skills is mindful meditation.

What It Is

There are many different styles of meditation. Mindful meditation involves quieting the mind of all the excess chatter and fully concentrating on the most important thought of the moment. For example, your child may be feeling the need to return to problem behaviors such as drugs or alcohol. By quieting the mind and focusing on this urge, without judgment, he can answer many questions. What is he feeling at that moment? What is triggering a desire to use these substances? Maybe it is fear, anxiety or depression. 

Once the underlying emotion is identified, he can search his mind for other ways to deal with that emotion. For example, maybe he has argued with someone and the way he has dealt with anger in the past has been to drink until the anger was dulled. By identifying that his urge to drink right now is caused by anger, he can then think of other ways to deal with anger and put one of recently learned skills into use. The whole point is to identify the emotion behind the urge.

Why This Works

Over time, meditation has been proven to actually change the structure in certain parts of the brain. It strengthens the areas that help with coping skills and weakens those responsible for anxiety and depression. As the structure of the brain changes, the areas that are responsible for addiction become less prominent and those that help with dealing responsibly with emotions increase their influence. The connection created between the emotion and problem behavior becomes weaker. This in turn makes it easier to avoid acting on the urge to indulge in the addictive action.

Final Words

Addiction most often results from not having the necessary coping skills to recognize and deal with certain emotions. Over time, the brain creates a connection between that emotion and the problem behavior.   Over time, Meditation can help identify that connection and create a means to weaken it, making it easier to avoid acting out of impulse. This in turn strengthens the coping mechanisms and makes success more likely. For all these reasons, mindful meditation is a core practice at Red Mountain Sedona. For 24-hour admissions assistance for new students, please call 855-998-5272

Author Josh White, MA, LCMHC, CGP

Author Josh White, MA, LCMHC, CGP

Follow Josh White, MA, LCMHC, CGP

Founder / Executive Director Josh White, Sensei, MA, LCMHC, CGP earned his Master’s Degree in Psychology from Naropa University, the nation’s premier mindfulness-based therapeutic training institution. A recognized leader and innovator within the young adult treatment field, Josh has pr..

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