Recovering from drug or alcohol abuse is a process. It requires a lot of work, effort, and maybe most importantly, desire. You need to want to get well. It can feel impossible to take that step towards recovery, but it isn’t.
Through that journey of recovery, there is a lot to tackle. You need to address everything from what led to your addiction to things that happened because of your addiction and beyond. But with all the complicated and intense levels of adjustment, mindfulness is the act of finding clarity in moments.
Using mindfulness as a tool through recovery is beneficial to your progress and essential to your inner peace. It is something anyone can do as long as they have patience and practice regularly.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a type of personal awareness. It is abstract and unique to each individual. Mindfulness is part of several other practices like yoga or meditation. For those that struggle with the concept of mindfulness, it is a way to be more conscious within your own mind. It gives you power over your thoughts in a way.
Addiction and recovery come with a lot of unknowns. There can be a lot of fear, doubt, and even shame or guilt experienced in this process. Mindfulness lets you experience those emotions while being aware of the fact that they are temporary. You can reach through those feelings to the other side.
Using mindfulness as a tool to combat the disturbing yet natural parts of recovery helps you to accept and overcome those moments. Nothing is permanent, but mindfulness can help you navigate through moments of weakness, urges, or other negative times.
In fact, mindfulness is a lot more than a silly technique. It is a method used in various therapies across different platforms around the world.
How Does Mindfulness Affect Recovery?
Mindfulness may be a momentary practice in theory, but incorporating it into your regular routine can have amazing effects through recovery.
Addiction is more than a purely physical or mental problem. It can work its way into all aspects of you and your life. Addiction impacts your brain function without you even realizing it. But mindfulness is an active way to counteract these effects.
Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation published the following: “Scientific findings indicate that substance use disorders are driven by dysregulation of neural processes underlying reward learning and executive functioning. Emerging evidence suggests that mindfulness training can target these neurocognitive mechanisms to produce significant therapeutic effects on SUDs and prevent relapse.”
When you’re addicted, your brain’s response to substances like drugs and alcohol has become reward-like. The brain then encourages the addiction. By exercising mindfulness, you can consciously train your brain to unlearn those reactions.
Through the practice of mindfulness techniques, your recovery can feel more manageable. You will be more aware of your feelings and reactions and have a better way of handling them from the time of treatment all the way through recovery and sober living.
How to Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness covers a wide range of activities and practices. It may seem like a complex concept to swallow at first, but with both time and patience, it can significantly influence your ability to feel joy and the likelihood to stay on the right path.
Mindfulness comes in stages. It begins with conscious acts. You need to practice being aware of your thoughts and feelings at that moment. Then, you have to learn how to accept those things. Not everything you think or feel will be positive, especially within recovery. It can be hard to be okay will feeling shame or doubt. These emotions are not enjoyable, but part of being mindful is accepting these emotions as part of this process and part of life.
Finally, you learn not just to accept all thoughts and emotions but how to appreciate them. See each moment as something leading to the next. See each bad thought as a stepping stone to a good one.
There is a balance to be found within mindfulness. And it does take time to master. Some days will seem easier or harder than others. You may discover mindfulness helps you in new situations that make you anxious, but you may find that it isn’t working for you when you face something painful from your past. That is alright.
Mindfulness is a technique that, when used continuously, makes a significant impact on your health. Practicing it isn’t just something you do during treatment, but all the way through your recovery.
Mindfulness is a practice of awareness. It is a tool you can use to face your thoughts and emotions. It can take you out of a stressful moment or situation and link you back up with your conscious mind. It keeps you in control. You may not stop what you’re thinking, but you can rearrange thoughts into a more positive light. Mindfulness requires practice and a willingness for it to work. There are methods like deep breathing, yoga, or meditation that all incorporate mindfulness as a valuable tool through recovery. Retraining your mind away from addiction, driving thoughts towards joy, peace, and balance can help guide you through recovery. Here, at California Care Detox & Treatment San Juan Capistrano, California, we teach mindfulness techniques for stress reduction and relapse prevention. Reach out today to learn more about how we incorporate mindfulness as an essential step in addiction treatment. Call us now at (949) 281-0632 for more information.