Addicts often turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with difficult circumstances and emotional anguish. But when you are in a rehabilitation center, finding appropriate coping mechanisms is the main objective. At this point, awareness is useful.
Substance abuse experts have recognized holistic therapies like yoga and mindfulness practice as helpful additions to drug and alcohol recovery programs. People at all phases of the addiction recovery process use mindfulness techniques as a helpful coping mechanism for handling stress, anxiety, despair, and trauma.
What is Mindfulness Therapy?
Mindfulness therapy is a very old Buddhist practice based on modern science and it can improve the awareness, feelings, clarity and focus in one’s life. Mindfulness is about maintaining moment-to-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and external surroundings. It can be done anywhere in a short period of time, whether you are stuck in traffic, waiting in a doctor’s waiting room, or even in a grocery store checkout line.
Mindfulness therapy can help you live more deliberately and can also increase your self-awareness and happiness. Being mindful includes being consciously aware of your current emotions. It means maintaining objectivity and neutrality while monitoring and accepting your emotions without judging them.
How can mindfulness therapy help with addiction recovery?
Consequently, mindfulness-based treatments are utilized successfully to treat addiction. Thus, mindfulness techniques are often used as a way to assist patients in their rehabilitation journey. It is a type of mental exercise that can be applied to addiction treatment. Mindfulness exercises can genuinely aid in the reshaping of brains that have been adversely affected by addiction.
Mindfulness can help patients in controlling their emotions and thoughts better during the recovery process. By practicing this therapy, you are reminded to be mindful of the circumstances that set off your triggers and might lead you to relapse.
Steps for practicing mindfulness:
Use these tried-and-true steps for practicing mindfulness recommended by experts and they could be just what you are searching for:
- Stay in the present moment:
Focusing on the present moments does not necessarily mean staying only physically at a place. It is possible to be somewhere else while you are physically present in another place. Focusing your mind on one thing at a time in one place will help you stay in the present moment.
This will help you to face the situation and not escape them. The patients seeking addiction recovery can practice staying focused as it will teach them to cope with reality.
It will take time and practice to learn this step but once you master it, there is no going back. Focus your mind on the present, on what you are doing in your daily activities like eating, drinking, walking, etc.
Addicts going through the rehab process can choose mindfulness practices to learn to live in the present and stay in “one moment at a time.
- Practice staying still:
We are free to learn our own unique truths that give our lives meaning and purpose when there is peace rather than constant bustling. Finding a time to remain still, or finding any moment that is exclusively yours, is a vital constituent of mindfulness. You can practice this mindfulness skill by doing yoga, meditation, stargazing, watching the ocean waves, or whatever else you prefer. Meditate regularly to cultivate inner stillness. You will advance in your recovery by regularly practicing these mindfulness techniques.
- Learn to focus on your breathing:
When you are experiencing stress, try not to escape from it and give it a mindfulness response by focusing on your breathing. Watch how you breathe and feel it. Take the control of your breathing by taking a deep breath, pausing it and slowly exhaling it. It supports maintaining a sense of calm and control, which is necessary while attempting to prevent negative feelings and thoughts when going through addiction recovery.
- Align your thoughts:
You might not be aware of how your thoughts influence your feelings and behaviors. Mindfulness therapy teaches you to recognize damaging thoughts and let them go by not believing in them. This will be beneficial, especially if you experience relapse or withdrawal symptoms while receiving addiction treatment.
Start by examining your thoughts during the course of the day. Do this specifically when you start to feel anxious or depressed. Identify the thoughts that made you feel the way you did. Remember that the thoughts are just thoughts and you do not need to focus too much on them.
- Build compassionate connections:
Your ability to interact with people can be sometimes hampered by addiction. During your recovery, interacting with people with compassion will help you establish strong and wholesome connections.
Mindfulness therapy teaches you to let go of preconceptions and stereotypes and to perceive people with compassion. To practice this step, during encounters with others, just repeat the phrase “Just like me” in your mind to remind yourself that everyone has the same goals, concerns, dreams, and sufferings as you have.
In the End:
Mindfulness is the opposite of escape and instead of reacting; it teaches you the coping skills to respond to your avoidance. This treatment teaches us to harness our body’s inherent healing power to control stress. Alternatively, yoga is a great practice to help relax your stressful mind. The best yoga apps will guide you to perform different asanas in the morning to have a positive start to the day. Hence, there will be no more need for any addiction as you are in calm mode throughout the day.
Keep in mind that healing is a journey rather than a destination. You have to keep patience and be consistent while practicing mindfulness therapy as it will take time to work.