The Important of Mindfulness in Addiction Recovery
Addictions are complex, often involving a perfect storm of factors including lack of impulse control and intense negative emotions that are painful to deal with. Battling addiction is challenging, but tactics like mindfulness in addiction recovery can help patients to become more tuned in to their feelings, thoughts, and actions.
When you are in addiction recovery, sometimes reaching for something to satisfy an urge means you turn to something you don't need or even relapse. Whether it’s to sugary candy, shopping for the latest thing you don’t need, or drinking alcohol, the impulse can come on quickly. You suddenly feel as if you want whatever the “thing” is, and then you act on it. It’s a quick process, often taking just seconds, and many times it’s without conscious thought on your part. And while buying something or reaching for something sweet starts off innocent, it can lead to unhealthy behavior as a way to cope.
Satisfying an Urge vs. Mindfulness in Addiction Recovery
This lightning-quick impulse to satisfy an urge or craving that can be triggered by a number of factors can be incredibly hard to overcome. When you are trying to overcome a strong dependence on alcohol or drugs, your key is to learn tricks that can help you to stop and fight back against these urges.
One such tactic that has been gaining a lot of traction in the mental health and addiction recovery sphere is “Mindfulness.” Mindfulness is, at its core, the human ability to be fully present in the moment. It is being aware of what we are doing and where we are, while not being reactive or overwhelmed by anything going on around us.
Curiosity is at the Core of Awareness
When you are mindful and 100% present at any given moment, you are actively engaged in your life. Maybe you’re at a concert or you’re spending time with family, or even just on your back porch sipping coffee. It is during these moments, that it can be all too easy to slip into addictive behaviors. When you are mindful, however, your senses are aroused and your curiosity is turned on. Instead of glancing at a bird as it flies by, when you are mindful, you might wonder what type of bird you have seen, where it is going, and you’ll notice the unique coloring of its feathers.
In essence, curiosity is at the heart of mindfulness, and this curiosity might be considered the superpower you need to prevail over impulsive addictive actions.
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Using Mindfulness in Addiction Recovery
Mindfulness as a practice might sound simple, but for many can be incredibly challenging. How many times have you successfully tuned out all of the noise in your day and truly focused on your innate curiosities? For most people, especially those who are struggling with a dependence on a substance, turning the background noise off and tuning in to the present moments can be an eye-opening experience. One that can eventually lead to breaking free from the vice altogether.
So, how can you utilize your curiosity to kick your habits or addictions to the curb? Start with some of these tactics:
Make a point to stop whatever you are doing when you either have started an addictive behavior or are about to. Say “stop” out loud if you need to.
Listen to what’s going on around you. Sit in silence and take in all of the sounds surrounding you.
Question your motives. Why were you about have a drink? What were you hoping to gain by having one? Is this really what you want to do?
Notice how you feel in that moment. Jot these feelings down. Pay attention to patterns in your feelings and behaviors, observing how they are intertwined.
Mindfulness meditation has become an important tool for those who are overcoming addictions in recent years. There’s a wealth of scientific studies to back this up. Research has shown that mindfulness meditation can have a positive impact on the amygdala. This is the part of the brain that is responsible for the regulation of emotions. As patients complete this practice, they can train themselves to control their emotions and avoid their vices simply by keeping their negative or anxious feelings in check.
Just like you wouldn’t try to treat a third-degree burn or broken bone at home, it’s nearly impossible to beat a dependence on a substance. There are recovery centers that can offer the support, guidance, and proven effective therapeutic methods to aid you on your path to a clean, sober life.
If you are battling an addiction and need help with using proven methods like mindfulness in your recovery, Clear Life Recovery is here for you. Using various methods, including holistic addiction therapy, Clear Life get help you to get your life back on track. You are not alone in your journey towards health, wellness, and freedom from addiction. Contact Clear Life Recovery to finally break free from the behaviors that are holding you back.