Constant worry about the future or past can create a lot of stress and tension. It may be time to begin a mindfulness practice to build a sense of presence in the moment. Mindfulness has many benefits including the ability to lower stress and anxiety while building emotional resilience. Learn how to build a mindfulness practice in recovery.
What is Mindfulness
Mindfulness is simply the practice of becoming more aware of the present moment without judgment. The focus is less on the past and more on the present. Anyone from any belief system can enjoy the benefits of mindfulness which generally involves a heightened level of awareness of sensory stimuli and focus on positive, rather than negative, thoughts.
How to Attain Mindfulness
Meditation is the best way to achieve mindfulness. It is possible to incorporate mindfulness practices into one’s daily routine of living by focusing on the present moment. Typically, a person with addiction in recovery has spent most of the time thinking about how to get high, obtain more drugs or find the next drink. This heightened awareness of trying to find the next fix can undercut a person’s ability to focus on positive beliefs about oneself, other people and the world at large. Meditation brings attention to what is happening that second, quieting other inner and outer dialogue to be present with the moment as it presents itself.
The following benefits have been noticed in research about mindfulness practices in support of a person in recovery.
- People with anxiety disorders may see a significant reduction in anxiety and depressive symptoms following meditation or mindfulness practices
- Individuals with depressive mood disorder may see a decrease in symptoms and ruminations on negative thoughts following the start of a mindfulness practice
- People who exhibited mindfulness in everyday life presented with more satisfaction in daily relationships. Stress was easier to cope with and interpersonal conflicts went down
- Sleeping problems were reduced in people who started a mindfulness practice
- Mindfulness is helping in lowering everyday anxieties created by chronic or life-threatening illnesses but also for many people who practiced regularly
Putting it Into Practice
Mindfulness can be helpful in stopping ruminations over things which may cause stress such as dwelling on negative thoughts. Mindfulness can decrease anxiety when an individual practices thinking about the present moment, being positive and desires healthy mental growth. A regular practice can have long lasting benefits for a person who builds it into a lifestyle by using:
- Quiet spaces
- Slower pace of life
Living life at one hundred miles per hour is what caused addiction to take life off the rails. Meditation and mindfulness bring it back to the present, slow life down, and afford opportunities to notice the beauty of being present and focusing on the positive, good things in life. Don’t let the moment pass you by without taking time to savor it, minute by minute, with some time spent in quiet solitude.
When life becomes hectic, it is easy to fall back into old patterns. Relapse is a very real reality for many people in recovery. Mindfulness and other tools can help you stay focused on what matters: staying sober. Call Hired Power at 800.910.9299 if you are struggling to stay clean in recovery. We can help get you back on track.