The practice of mindfulness has been a tool used by Buddhists for thousands of years. Historically, it's meant to help people grow spiritually and find enlightenment. It's a powerful tool that anyone in recovery can benefit from since it teaches individuals how to accept the battle against cravings and triggers as part of the healing process.
At Wish Recovery, we know it's impossible to avoid all cravings and stressful situations. Still, mindfulness shows how you can approach these things in a non-judgmental and accepting manner. Daily practice can help you in many ways, including reducing anxiety and stress, increasing self-esteem, improving focus and concentration, and improving relationships.
The Goal Isn’t To Be Sober. The Goal Is To Love Yourself So Much That You Don’t Need To Drink.
How Mindfulness Works
Mindfulness is paying attention to what is happening around you and what is happening inside you at any given time. To practice mindfulness, one must learn to be present—living in each moment, without becoming caught up in it.
Taking your time and not hurrying from one item to the next or simply one thought to the next is an essential part of this practice. By calming your mind, you may obtain a feeling of peace that is frequently the driving force for people's usage of substances like alcohol and marijuana.
One of the benefits of mindfulness is that it helps you become more aware of the beautiful sensory sensations that are all around us but that we frequently fail to notice. When you let the splendor of the world surrounding you permeate your awareness, the environment is not that much of an awful place to be. Enjoying the moment may reduce your desire to engage in addictive activities.
Another benefit of mindfulness is that it may help you better comprehend your feelings and emotions. When you understand your responses without being connected to them, you realize that you can frequently let go of things that may have previously been a source of irritation to you. If you're struggling with alcoholism or other addictive habits, you may learn something new about yourself and the factors that set these behaviors off with mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness teaches a variety of skills, including the following:
- Becoming very aware of your immediate environment
- Effectiveness by doing what works instead of doubting oneself.
- Being the ability to put into words what has occurred and how you feel about it.
- Isolating from any other influences and focusing on one thing
- Stepping back from judgment and accepting things for what they are.
- Participation by taking part in something without feeling self-conscious about it.
Possessing an attitude of "loving kindness" toward yourself and others is also an essential part of mindfulness, as is recognizing when you are operating on an "automatic pilot" and doing things without thinking about what you're doing.
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How Mindfulness Supports Recovery
Just as a muscle grows in size and strength through regular exercise, so does the brain. After living with addiction, alcohol and drugs may have contributed to changes in your brain through repetitive beliefs and habitual behaviors, making it a challenge to be conscious of yourself and stay present. But practicing regular mindfulness activities may purposefully rewire your brain to enhance your sense of agency, self-awareness, and joy. Here are ways to practice mindfulness:
Focus on your breathing.
It's easy to be trapped in a self-defeating cycle when stressed. During these times, you must take steps to maintain your mental well-being. Keeping your attention on your breathing will help you regain your equilibrium and stay on course with your recovery.
Stay in the present moment.
Most of those seeking addiction treatment are ex-escape masters who seek to avoid life's everyday stresses and anxieties. To be fully present can be tricky at first. The ability to deal with reality as it truly is, rather than how you perceive it, may be learned through practicing present-centeredness and mindfulness.
Encompass yourself with compassion.
When people have an addiction to alcohol or other substances, they may have a hard time connecting with people on a deeper level. Developing healthy, healing relationships is easier when you have compassion on your side.
Bring awareness to your thoughts as merely thoughts.
Negative self-talk is commonplace among people with substance and alcohol use disorders and harms your mental health. Positive transformation in addiction treatment requires hope and energy, which may be depleted by self-defeating thoughts like "I'm no good" or "It's me against the world." Acknowledging and confronting these negative ideas will help you perceive yourself in a favorable light and in a more authentic way.
Being Present Is the Greatest Gift to have in Recovery
Working to help people recognize all the unique sensory experiences that occur daily in the world around us is one of the most important aspects of intervention programs at Wish Recovery. Through mindfulness, we equip our patients to recognize the absurdity of squandering all their time, seeking momentary pleasures from drugs and alcohol. They can increase awareness of their surroundings and learn to recast sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and other sensations as wondrous things that don't need fortifying with a substance or addictive response to make them "worth it."