Legacy Healing Center Blog
Mindfulness and Addiction Recovery: How the Right Attitude Can Heal Your Body, Mind, and Spirit
The development of coping skills remains an integral part of any successful addiction recovery. If you want to enjoy a happier, more successful life, mindfulness can be a big help.
Mindfulness can build on the coping skills you’ve already learned, enhance your addiction recovery, and help you succeed in the outside world. The right attitude can work wonders, and once you start a mindfulness practice, you will see how effective it can be.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness can seem like a vague term, but it is much simpler than you might think. Mindfulness provides a way to focus your mind, shutting out the outside world’s distractions and providing you with the coping skills you need to strengthen your mind and emotional life.
There are many ways to practice this mental exercise, from formal guided meditation sessions to simple do-it-yourself practices. There is no one right approach, so you may want to experiment with several different options until you find what works the best for you. Just as every addiction recovery journey is unique, no two mindfulness practices will be the same, and that is fine.
How Does Mindfulness Benefit Those in Recovery?
Practicing mindfulness can be useful for everyone, from those suffering from stress at work to people recovering from a severe illness or recent hospitalization. But for those in addiction recovery, this practice can be a lifesaver.
By focusing and calming the mind, mindfulness practices can aid in the development and growth of coping skills. With its focus on breathing, mindfulness can speed physical healing, helping those in addiction recovery overcome any health issues substance abuse may have caused. With all these benefits, its clear why mindfulness practices have become such an integral part of so many addiction recovery programs.
Practicing mindfulness is not as difficult or challenging as you might think. You do not have to be a meditation expert, or even particularly good at it, to benefit from the power of mindfulness and the amazing impact it can have on your individual recovery.
If you are serious about building a better life for yourself, the following tips can help you get going. Here are some key steps to keep in mind as you embark on your unique addiction recovery journey:
1. Be present in the moment: This is the foundation of mindfulness practice. It’s easy to get caught up in worrying about the future and regretting the past, but mindfulness helps you be fully present. You cannot change what has happened before, and the future remains unknown. Being present helps us to let go and fully appreciate the moment. This practice doesn’t just apply to when you are sitting in meditation. Practicing being more fully present in conversations, when eating, and when going through all the activities of your day serves to enrich your life in countless ways.
2. Focus on your breathing: In good times and bad, your breath is always there, so much so that it often goes unnoticed. As you practice this exercise, start by focusing on your breath, becoming more and more aware of every inhale and exhale. Breathing is a unique function in that it is essential to keep us alive and yet we can control it when we choose to. The breath is closely tied to our nervous system and heart rate and focusing on deep slow breathing has a direct calming effect on the mind and body.
3. Recognize that your thoughts are your own: Everyone has their unique views, and no one has the right to judge others’ ideas. Part of mindfulness involves recognizing that thoughts are personal, so acknowledge your thoughts by allowing them to come and go without too much attachment.
4. Expand your circle of compassion outward: When you are in addiction recovery, you may be spending a lot of time in sharing circles, and the process of understanding works in much the same way. Think about the people in your life, then expand your circle of compassion outward to people in your town, state, country, and the world.
5. Practice stillness: Quieting your mind and staying still in body and spirit can be difficult, but that is what mindfulness is all about. Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed, focus your mind inward, and remain still practicing your mindfulness exercises. Even if it is difficult at the beginning, don’t feel discouraged, that is part of the process and it will get easier as time goes by.
Recovery from addiction does not just involve the physical nature of dependence. To truly overcome drug or alcohol addiction, its essential to address the whole person in body, mind and spirit. Developing healthy coping skills like mindfulness can help you overcome unwanted urges and destructive behaviors. Contact Legacy Healing Center today to learn how you can start your addiction recovery journey 888.534.2295. Our intake specialists are standing by 24/7 and all calls are confidential.