Combating addiction can be difficult. During this time, your mind can take you in many different directions. Applying new ways of thinking and new methods of behavior instead of dangerous ones can aid addiction recovery. You most likely have heard the term “mindful” at one point or another in your life. However, you may wonder what it means and how you can practice mindfulness. Becoming more mindful is something you can focus on daily.
One of the first steps in addiction recovery is discovering what causes the addiction emotionally. Many times, those experiencing a substance use disorder may be unaware of the cause. Practicing mindfulness can help you pick out these emotions and what is causing you to feel the need to use drugs or alcohol. These feelings may include fear, anxiety, trauma, or depression.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is when your mind is fully attending to what is happening around you, what you are doing, and how you are feeling. It is the basic ability to be fully present and aware in a moment. Practicing mindfulness can help reduce stress, enhance performance, and gain insight and awareness by observing our own mind. Regular practice of mindfulness 3 to 4 times a week for 10 to 15 minutes can make a difference in how you feel psychically and mentally.
Adding some of these to your daily routine may help you become more mindful:
- Take a walk in nature: Going for a walk in nature can help clear your mind, increase creativity, and promote a greater awareness of your surroundings. Walking in the city can be noisy and distracting. It is difficult to find an off switch when you are trapped in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A mindful walk in nature can help turn off the noise in your head and center your thoughts.
- Put down the mobile devices: Scrolling through your phone or tablet can be draining and cause you to feel down about yourself and compare yourself to others. When you are alone, a great way to practice mindfulness is to put down the phone and take notice in the way you are feeling.
- Pause throughout the day: Moving through one activity to the next throughout the day may feel exhausting. Pausing between activities and practicing breathing exercises can help you become more grounded and calmer. If you are feeling anxious, stressed, or simply want to slow down, relax your muscles, and take a few breaths through your diaphragm. Take notice of how you feel after practicing these exercises.
- Practice yoga: Both yoga and mindfulness have one common goal- quieting the mind. They both teach you to become more aware of your body and emotions. Practicing mindful yoga transforms movement into meditation. Studies have shown that 8 weeks of mindful yoga helped reduce overall stress, anxiety, depression, and pain. However, many people report feeling the mental and physical benefits of mindful yoga right after a session.
- Getting ready for bed: Finding a way to wind down at the end of the day is crucial for a good night’s sleep. Finding a nighttime ritual that includes calming music, reading, stretching, and turning off social media before shutting your eyes is an important part of mental health. Become more mindful by taking a few minutes to reflect on your day at the end of your day.
- Eat mindfully: Instead of rushing to eat a meal throughout the day while multitasking, take time to sit down and enjoy your meal without distractions. This is likely to help you feel more nourished and satisfied. By focusing your attention to the food in front of you, it allows your mind to rest and relax.
- Observe your thoughts and emotions: Listening to the way you feel can make you more present. This can also help prevent you from getting carried away in negative thoughts. Instead, think of your negative thoughts like a passing train. Do not obsess over them or let them overcome you.
Once you learn how to practice mindfulness, you can use it anywhere. Addiction treatment centers such as Victory Bay Recovery Center in South Jersey incorporate mindfulness into their therapy treatments. To learn more about how you can benefit from mindfulness in your addiction treatment, reach out to Victory Bay Recovery Center today. Do not let your addiction control your thoughts anymore. Contact us at 855.238.9004 to speak to a treatment specialist.
“What Is Mindful Yoga? 4 Poses + Yoga Retreats.” PositivePsychology.Com, 15 Apr. 2019, positivepsychology.com/mindfulness-yoga/#:~:text=In%20fact%2C%20yoga%20without%20mindful. Accessed 12 Oct. 2020.
“How to Practice Mindfulness.” Mindful, 12 Dec. 2018, www.mindful.org/how-to-practice-mindfulness/.
“5 Simple Mindfulness Practices for Daily Life – Mindful.” Mindful, 13 Dec. 2018, www.mindful.org/take-a-mindful-moment-5-simple-practices-for-daily-life/.