Recently I received an email from a patient describing how a mindfulness walk changed their day and led to a discussion about how to manage triggers. With permission, I am sharing part of the story, to show how mindfulness can help manage triggers:
“I wanted to just share a little experience that took place less than an hour ago, as a testament to the ‘grounding’ technique you taught me yesterday: It worked! I didn’t know if it could for something this heavy, but it did, and way fast too! When I got to work this morning and went through my emails.
I had one from the doctor’s office with the results of my UA. It was my first totally clean UA, so naturally, I was excited, and wanted to show it off to the people I have let into my life completely (so far, that list comprises a whopping 2 people: my partner, and my dad). I forwarded it, and went on responding to the rest of my emails, but always half-watching for a reply.
Mindfulness Leads to a Solution
Usually, my partner responds fast and is meticulous about getting back to people asap. Well, 5 minutes went by, then 10. I opened up my Sent messages, I saw the problem instantly. It turns out that I sent it to a potential customer with the same first name as my partner. I went into an instant panic attack, because, to my horror, the potential customer is inline to be spending a lot of money with our company. The more I thought about it, the worse it got too.
On the verge of tears, I left my office to go for a walk, whereupon I planned to beat myself up for it, as I have always done. Out of nowhere, my meeting with you, yesterday, popped into my mind. With it, came the realization that I had tools for exactly this situation. I decided to instead, spend my walk sensing everything I could in that moment.
Before I knew it, I had made it back to my office, transformed. I was calm, collected, and began working on a plan of action to diffuse things with the customer. My end-all screw-up suddenly became manageable.
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Again, here I am almost in tears, because of a different realization: I know me. I know my patterns. I would have spent the entire day torturing myself over this. Moreover, I would have been wading through all the darkness, anxiety, and urges to use… and now I don’t have to. This is all still very new to me… having this level of control. Makes me feel powerful in a way.”
A mindfulness walk is an easy way to release daily stresses and get in touch with our core values and authentic beliefs about our abilities. While on a walk, start by becoming hyper-aware of your surroundings and how the surroundings impact your senses.
What to Notice During Your Mindfulness Walk
Feel the warmth of the sun on your body. Notice your body as it moves through the air around you. Take a deep breath and then release the air and imagine your worries being release with the breath. Notice the sounds; are there birds chirping, insects buzzing, the sound of traffic? Listen harder, what else do you hear? Can you feel the hair on your arms as they move through the air?
Feel the gravity as it pulls each foot towards the earth. Notice your feet. The feel of the ground you are walking on, is it hard or soft? Notice the colors of the world around you. Take a deep breath and then release the air and imagine your worries being release with the breath. Feel the air on your skin, is it warm, cold or something in between. How does it feel?
A mindful walk can be done in as little as 3-5 minutes. It is a quick and easy way to “come to your senses” after a stressful or triggering experience. It will assist you with emotional regulation and allow you to move forward through a difficult experience with your authentic and grounded self. I try to start each day with a Mindfulness Walk and set my intentions for the day.
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Are you still wondering how mindfulness can help manage triggers? We can help. Contact Recovery Ways today. We treat a variety of addictions, including:
To learn more about how mindfulness can help manage triggers, call 888.986.7848 today.