Addiction is as much a mental disorder as it is a physical dependence on drugs or alcohol.
To truly root out the source of an addiction and facilitate long-term healing, one must address the mental and emotional sides of addiction; not just physical healing.
Mindfulness, or the state of consciously being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings, can significantly help someone during addiction recovery. Learn about the connection between mindfulness and addiction recovery to better help the sober person in your life.
Exploring Mindfulness and Healing
Mindfulness is a way to consciously acknowledge one’s feelings, thoughts, and reactions without necessarily trying to change them.
It is a judgment-free way to pay attention to one’s emotions in a certain moment. Mindfulness requires practice, often through activities such as yoga or meditation.
On the sobriety journey, mindfulness can help individuals deal with powerful emotions or cravings without suppressing parts of themselves.
It can help an individual maintain control over his or her mental and emotional health during recovery.
Practicing mindfulness during addiction recovery heightens awareness of one’s mental and emotional states. This in turn gives power back to the individual to deal with desires in a healthy way, once and for all.
5 Tips for Productive Mindfulness Meditation During Addiction Recovery
The right treatment center can teach someone struggling with addiction how to practice meditation, obtain real results, and bring this practice into the real world upon discharge from the facility.
Although everyone’s individual journey will look different, follow these basic tips for cultivating mindfulness during addiction recovery:
Be present in your surroundings.
Mindfulness starts with bringing your awareness to your current time, place, thoughts, and feelings. Instead of letting your mind wander down the rabbit hole of post-addiction thoughts, actively try to keep them on what’s happening now. Don’t let distractions disrupt your mindfulness or cause anxiety.
Practice conscious breathing.
Connect your breathing with mindfulness. Let your breath become your anchor when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Focus on breathing deeply and calmly, in and out. When you control your breathing, you can control your thoughts – and by extension, your actions.
Let your thoughts become background noise.
Mindfulness is not about thinking your thoughts. It’s about acknowledging thoughts as they pass without judgment. Give your thoughts as little attention as possible. Tune them out to focus instead on reality. This will help you prevent negative self-talk, false assumptions, and harmful ideas.
Be friendly with yourself.
If being kind and uncritical of yourself is difficult (as it is for most people struggling with addiction), start by pretending you’re talking to someone else. Over time, it will become easier to direct those thoughts and feelings toward yourself. Develop an attitude of patient, loving kindness toward your own emotions.
Don’t expect perfection.
There is no “wrong way” to practice mindfulness. Remember: it’s a practice, not a perfect. Don’t be too hard on yourself or too rigid with your mindfulness rules. Find something that works for you and stick with it.
Mindfulness isn’t something you only do once. It is a tool you can keep returning to during addiction recovery. Any time you start to feel lost, confused, angry, or at risk of relapse, turn to mindfulness to bring your thoughts and emotions back to the present.
Go someplace quiet, take some deep breaths, and expand your self-actualization through this meditation practice. The more you engage in mindfulness, the more second-nature it will become.
Burning Tree Programs offers four treatment programs based on the 12 steps. Our treatment center Renewal Lodge near Austin, Texas helps you deepen your understanding and connection about the 12 Steps by teaching you about mindfulness. Below are additional blog articles from Renewal Lodge that discuss our approach of treatment with the 12 Steps with mindfulness.