Submitting yourself into a drug treatment program, such as Treatment Alternatives Massachusetts is a big step in the right direction; but a successful recovery also requires effort on your part. On a daily basis, many people find themselves simply “going through the motions”, but a major component of addiction treatment requires the exact opposite: practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness means conquering your emotions, lending to your mind to fully attend whatever is happening, living in the moment, and awakening to new experiences.
Mindfulness is incorporated into addiction treatment in many ways: Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program, and Mindful Based Relapse Prevention.
Since addiction tends to become an automatic behavior used to escape feelings or situations, mindfulness takes the opposite approach by asking you to sit quietly with yourself, and explore your thoughts and feelings. The practice involves acceptance, paying attention to inner thoughts and feelings with no judgement, and not becoming overly reactive or overwhelmed. Mindfulness means letting go of the belief that there is a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel.
Why do we practice mindfulness during addiction recovery?
Mindfulness helps focus: The entire concept of practicing mindfulness is learning how to focus on the now, without being distracted by stress, fears, your past mistakes, or your future.
Mindfulness helps you manage stress: Research shows it can increase positive emotions and reduce negative feelings and stress.
Mindfulness is good for you physically: practicing mindfulness allows you to pay more attention to warning signs and changes in your body, especially when you are doing something harmful to it. It can boost your immune system’s ability to fight illnesses.
Mindfulness is good for you mentally and emotionally: Research has found that practicing mindfulness everyday increases the density of gray matter in brain regions linked to learning, memory, emotion regulation, and empathy. It also increases optimism, while decreasing aggressive behavior.
What are some techniques?
Simple techniques for practicing mindfulness during addiction recovery include:
What are some habits of mindful people?
-They do not allow their thoughts to control them entirely.
-They focus entirely on whatever they are doing.
-They do not avoid or deny their emotions.
-They accept and embrace change.
-They focus on one thing at a time.
-They nourish themselves.
-They turn everyday tasks into mindful moments.
-They practice curiosity.
-They embrace the beauty of nature.
-They are fully present in a conversation without judgement.
-They slowdown from time to time, taking breaks throughout the day.