Addiction recovery is a lifelong process. Here is why the practice of mindfulness is an important tool for preventing a relapse in addictive behaviors.
While receiving the treatment you need is the first step in overcoming addiction, recovery itself is a lifelong process. While each person who has struggled with substance use is on their own journey, there are some common triggers that almost everyone faces during a lifetime of addiction recovery – some of the most significant being stress and other life circumstances that bring about strong emotions.
Nobody is immune to the ups and downs of life. For the person with an addiction problem, stressful and difficult times can bring up many of the same feelings they had when their addiction became a problem and for some people, this can trigger a relapse in recovery.
It’s important that those recovering from an addiction problem have tools for preventing a relapse. One of the most effective tools being the ability to achieve a state of mindfulness.
Mindfulness for Addiction Recovery
Mindfulness is a topic that has gained popularity in recent years. While there are skeptics of the mindfulness movement, there are also plenty of people out there who haven’t taken the time to understand what it is and how effective mindfulness for addiction recovery can be.
Mindfulness shouldn’t be confused with meditation, although meditation can be another effective tool for maintaining long-term sobriety. Mindfulness is most simply described as being completely present in the moment. Achieving this state allows you to clear out the noise and focus entirely on your thoughts and emotions in order to create an awareness of how stressful situations, and your reactions, affect your physical and mental wellbeing.
Research on mindfulness indicates that it can help alleviate many of the typical triggers of addiction relapse, including anxiety and depression. The practice of mindfulness is based on the theory that our brains have a certain level of plasticity, meaning that they can be shaped by experiences and purposeful actions. When you repeatedly program the brain to overcome addictive impulses through mindfulness activities, you open up access to greater empowerment and control over addictive behaviors. (1)
3 Mindfulness Tips to Avoid a Drug Relapse
When first practicing mindfulness, one of the most important things to remember is to not become discouraged. If you feel too distracted or emotional, give it time and work on becoming mindful in small steps.
Here are 3 mindfulness tips to avoid a drug relapse to get started.
- Be present and pay attention to the ordinary things.
Mindfulness doesn’t need to be a huge undertaking. Start with the simple everyday things. For example, notice the color variations of an apple you are holding and then focus on the sensation and taste as you bite into it. Or, maybe go for a short walk and pay attention to the sounds of birds or kids at the playground that has always blended into the background before.
- Don’t forget to breathe.
Often times, the world around us seems chaotic. You might also have stress or conflict in your own personal life that you just can’t seem to escape. Unpleasantness has a presence in everyone’s life at some point, and the honest truth is you can’t always control what happens around you. However, you can control your reaction, and this involves slowing down and learning how to breathe.
Start by taking a short break whenever your feeling stressed or overwhelmed and focus entirely on your breath. Feel the breath enter and leave your body and notice how you have complete control over it. Work up to longer sessions of 15 minutes per day of focused breathing.
- Erase judgment.
Judgment towards yourself or others has no place in a healthy recovery process. If you find judgmental thoughts invading your mind, take a moment to slow down, focus on the present moment, and give yourself permission to forgive yourself and others.
Finding Addiction Recovery in Fort Washington
If you’re on the verge of a relapse, you may able to pull yourself back in. You might also need the help of a compassionate addiction recovery center. If you’re struggling to avoid a relapse, finding services for addiction recovery in Fort Washington is the first important step. Your recovery and health are too important to risk going it alone. The help is there, please don’t feel afraid or ashamed to reach out to our Life of Purpose Treatment center in Fort Washington.
Fort Washington Life of Purpose Treatment