Mindfulness Meditations to Help You Heal
by Beverly Conyers
If you’ve found yourself in a cycle of codependent relationships, rest assured that there is a way out. Learning how to overcome codependency will take some deep inner work, but with the help of mindfulness meditation, this process can become much easier.
Mindfulness, and mindfulness meditation, can help you recover from anything and everything in life. Whether that’s combating self-sabotaging behaviors, healing shame, and reaching emotional sobriety, or battling addictive tendencies and releasing trauma, mindfulness meditation techniques can help. Many of these practices can be applied to codependency recovery too.
But first, what is mindfulness?
The definition of mindfulness is: “The practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.”
But, what is codependency anyway?
Codependence is most often rooted in childhood; becoming a learned behavior that affects relationships. A codependent relationship typically forms with a romantic partner, although it can happen with a friend or family member.
The definition of codependency is: “A psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (such as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) broadly: dependence on the needs of or control by another.”
When it comes to romantic relationships, codependent partners tend to put their needs aside in order to support, help, or ‘fix’ the person they’re in a relationship with. The codependent partner typically believes that they will only receive love from their partner if they sacrifice themselves in this way. Also, they often gain a sense of identity, self-confidence, and value from the ways in which they help their partner.
In many cases, a codependent partner may stay with someone who is abusive or has a substance abuse problem or addiction. This way, they feel needed and can work to gain their partner’s love. A codependent person draws so much of their own self-worth from their partner that they develop a sort of relationship or love addiction that keeps them in a codependency cycle.
A few signs of codependency include:
· Valuing others’ approval more than your own approval
· Having difficulty making decisions for yourself
· Fears of abandonment
· Poor self-esteem
· Having a severe dependence on relationships, often to your own detriment
· Having an inflated sense of responsibility for what other people do
· People-pleasing behaviors
· Caretaking behaviors
With these meditation techniques, you can learn how to practice mindfulness in a way that can help you heal and overcome your codependent behavior. Here are a few meditations that can help:
1. Feel the pause (To connect with your thoughts)
Start by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a moment to notice the physical sensations, sounds, smells, thoughts, and feelings that come up. Be aware of what’s happening in the moment but don’t try to do anything about it. Breathe as you normally would.
2. Letting go of thoughts (To stop worrying about others’ approval)
Begin by lying or sitting down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes, settle in and start to breathe normally. Bring your attention to your breath and notice how it moves into your nose and out of your body. Notice how it feels as it leaves your body. Softly say “breathe” to yourself at the beginning of every inhalation and exhalation. If your mind wanders, recognize those intrusive thoughts as “not breathe.” Without judgement, let the thought go and bring your attention to your breathing. Continue this until you finish your meditation. Can you let your thoughts fly away like birds?
3. Relearning your loveliness (To learn self-love)
Get into a comfortable position either sitting or lying down. You can close your eyes or focus on a point in the distance. When ready, quietly chant or think these phrases:
“May I be free from fear.”
“May I be free from suffering.”
“May I be happy.”
“May I be filled with loving kindness.”
Choose the phrase or phrases that mean the most to you and repeat them over and over for two to three minutes. Do this even if you don’t believe them. Even if you don’t think you are worthy. Plant these seeds of self-love so they can grow and blossom within you over time.
4. Change your life (To find self-compassion)
Try journaling to explore this concept of self-compassion. To start, find a quiet place where you can be alone for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a computer or a pen and paper and fill an entire page with your thoughts on self-compassion. Consider these ideas to get started: What negative self-talk would you need to give up to be more self-compassionate? What does self-compassion mean to you? How can moments of self-compassion improve your life? How can you practice self-compassion today?
If you’re finally ready to break the cycle of codependent relationships by getting to the root cause of the problem, mindfulness meditations can help. These mindfulness techniques can help you get in touch with your thoughts, needs, and emotions.
Through her books, Beverly Conyers hopes to reduce the stigma of addiction to help families and friends develop effective coping strategies, and to offer support, strength, and hope by sharing fact-based information and real-life stories of struggle and recovery. Conyers has previously written “Addict in the Family: Stories of Loss, Hope and Recovery,” “Everything Changes: Help for Families of Newly Recovering Addicts,” and “The Recovering Heart: Emotional Sobriety for Women,” many of which have become a tool in recovery centers worldwide. beverlyconyers.blogspot.com