In the early stages of addiction recovery, addicts can receive great support from residential and outpatient addiction services. These programs provide individual therapy, group therapy, psychoeducational training and a variety of complimentary therapies that help begin recovery. These programs also recommend that when you leave the treatment facility, you continue to sustain recovery through individual therapy, active participation in support groups and surrounding yourself with a support network that will hold you accountable. Another strategy that may prove useful to you during the lifelong maintenance of your sobriety is mindfulness.
Mindfulness, or paying attention to the present moment, helps individuals become more aware of the thoughts and feelings that are occurring right here and now. People who practice mindfulness believe that they receive greater insights into their emotions and boost their attention and concentration. Because of this increased awareness, many people believe that mindfulness can improve their sense of self and their relationships with others. Another aspect of mindfulness is to acknowledge thoughts and feelings without judgment, which helps a person look more rationally at these thoughts and feelings without being overwhelmed by them.
Meditation is one of the most common methods for practicing mindfulness. When using meditation, you should find a quiet and comfortable place so that you can put aside all thoughts of the past and the future and stay in the present. During the meditation, you want to be aware of the thoughts that come through your mind and attempt to let these thoughts leave your consciousness without fear or worry.
Mindfulness and Breathing
If you are unable to establish a setting for meditation, you can still be mindful by being more aware of your breathing. When you focus on your belly rising and falling with each inhalation and exhalation, you can allow this focus to help you relieve thoughts without judgment. When you find that your mind is too involved in a line of thought, you can refocus your attention to your breathing and gradually return to a state of mindfulness.
Mindfulness and Yoga
Yoga is very focused on breathing. In fact, the definition of yoga is to be focused breathing and movement. Therefore, when you are in a state of focus in the present moment, even if it involves movement like in yoga, you are in a state of mindfulness. Yoga is not only a wonderful vehicle for practicing mindfulness, but it also allows you to focus in the present on your movement and your physical health and wellbeing.
Mindfulness to Avoid Relapse
When a person has been in recovery for some time, it is important to find ways to keep sobriety a priority so that you can avoid relapse. You may not have the daily support from treatment or support groups, but you can use mindfulness to help you maintain your sober life. By using mindfulness, you can do the following:
- Develop increased awareness of personal triggers
- Learn to create ways to seek alternate options
- Identify challenging emotional and physical experiences that could lead to relapse
- Respond to these challenges in a positive manner
Mindfulness can be a powerful tool to avoid relapse.
Get Help to Sustain Recovery
Please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about viable ways to sustain recovery.