“Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” AA Big Book, p96.

The 12 steps of Recovery and the AA Big Book are synonymous on healing the body and mind from addiction. Through prayer and meditation, the 11th step of the 12 steps, it teaches those that were lost how to regain control on their thoughts and emotions, how to let go of stress-triggers, and how to better their lives through stillness.

Those in recovery battle every day to make it through the 12 steps and to lead a healthier life than the one they’re leaving behind. I’ve always had an immense respect for those that go through recovery and turn their lives around. Today, I’m talking about the role that meditation can play in recovery and why it’s such a good idea for addicts.

From as far back as the 1970s the American Journal of Psychiatry has documented the tie between successful addiction rehab and meditation. It helps the person in so many ways, from learning how to soothe themselves and calm their minds, to lowering anxiety and helping in sleep; all crucial to those in recovery.

Specifically, meditation can help address cravings before they get overwhelming, how to harness attention focus and help observe and experience things without acting on urges, and how to better handle their everyday stress. This leads to not relying on addictive substances to soothe and cope.

Several different forms of mindful meditation have been shown to help, including breathwork, progressive muscle relaxation (the Body Scan form of meditation), mantra-based, guided imagery, and movement-based meditation. Getting into a habit of showing up and training your mind to let go of its control on inner thought-struggles can be monumental on an addicts ability to stay sober in a world of stress and temptations.

There are many meditation offerings in the Rome area. Beginning May 23rd, there is a free Recovery Meditation service on every other Thursdays at 5:30pm at Rome Bodywork and Wellness. Space is limited so please reserve your space. Come see if meditation can help you with this free community service to give back to Rome and to help those in their recovery journey.

If you’re struggling with addiction and want a community that helps without judgment, a place of solace, reach out to Rome’s own LivingProof Recovery.

Namaste to each and every one of you readers in the best little city in Georgia.

Tina Samuels, a native of Rome, is a local yoga instructor and shiatsu bodywork therapist. Readers can contact her at www.romebodyworkandwellness.com.