Loving-Kindness Meditation and Addiction Recovery: Extending Your Heart Out to Others

Extend your heart during meditation and recovery“Your own capacity for loving, whether you know it or not, is infinite.”

They say that when we open our heart and give love and kindness to others, we ourselves feel happier and more connected to people. Addiction can separate us from those we love and from activities that mean a lot to us, as addiction “hijacks” the brain and causes us to focus on one thing: substances. We lie to those we love, we steal, we say hurtful things and we miss out on opportunities that can truly enrich our lives. Addiction recovery is about gaining that back – and through service, we can do this.

A type of Buddhist meditation, loving-kindness meditation is about extending warmth and love to other people. As Medium suggests, there are four parts to loving-kindness:

  • Loving-kindness
  • Compassion
  • Sympathetic joy (being truly joyful in the good fortune of others)
  • Equanimity (balance of mind)

12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), often lead those in recovery through similar paths as they develop a firm understanding of God, or another Higher Power, by helping others and appreciating the small moments in life. In 2015, a study published in the journal Frontier Psychology assessed 24 studies to gain some understanding of the benefits of loving-kindness. They found that loving-kindness meditation can bring about many positive emotions for others, which can have a major impact on addiction recovery as it combats many of the symptoms that come with anxiety and depression.

Simply wishing others well and being kind to others through service can open up your mind, body and spirit to building an enriching life. A common misbelief is that serving ourselves is the key to happiness, but it’s truly found in serving others – through volunteering, telling others you love them and wishing the best for people around you.

If you’re ready to start your journey to recovery today, speak with someone from Cumberland Heights.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.