Mindfulness is a state of mind found by focusing on the current moment and calmly accepting and acknowledging the thoughts and feelings without the “right” or “wrong” mentality. It is a therapeutic technique that we all possess but practicing meditation helps you to achieve this state of mind more often and more easily. It is a way to be fully present without being overwhelmed by what is going on. Mindfulness helps you to connect to yourself and your surroundings, it can help with pain, lower stress, focus your mind leading to less wandering thoughts, and strengthen neural connections which can lead to more creative thoughts. It can also be practiced alone, with like minded people, and anytime.
Meditation and Addiction Treatment
Meditation can help you to take a break from the hecticness and stress for everyday life and also during treatment. Learning how to handle things without out your substance can be hard and during treatment you learn a lot about your addiction and yourself. Taking the time to relax and focus your mind. Meditation can help you understand more things about yourself`and find an inner peace that will help you overcome your addiction. Meditation can help you focus on things with a more positive outlook and allow you to find happiness even during difficult times. Meditating helps you find balance instead of swinging between extremes. Practicing meditation can lead to less discomfort and feel more appreciative. Meditation allows you the chance to dig deeper into your thoughts and feelings and understand what caused them and the effect they have. Meditation can be for just a couple minutes or for longer and it can be a once a day thing or something less often. Yale University did a study and found that those who meditate decrease the activity in the default mode network (DMN) in the brain. This network is responsible for mind-wandering, when we aren’t thinking about anything in particular which is associated with worrying about the past and future and making people less happy. So decreasing the use of this network is beneficial. Practicing mindfulness even for just a few weeks also helps boost the immune system, self-compassion, and empathy. John Hopkins concluded a study that found a relation between meditation and less depression, anxiety, and pain. Harvard did a study that found correlations between meditation and decreases in the size of the amygdala, which is responsible for stress, anxiety, and fear. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction can help people with addiction and preventing relapse.
Mindfulness Meditation in Sobriety
Using mindfulness and meditation can help you get through treatment and maintain your sobriety by acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and surroundings. Mindfulness and meditation isn’t about always being happy. It is about being aware of your surroundings and how they affect you. Recognizing that a certain situation or environment causes you an urge to use your substance can help you understand why and either avoid it or unassociate the feeling and the behavior. It allows you the patience to look at things more deeply and with a better understanding. By acknowledging what makes you upset, causes anxiety and/or depression, and angry you can confront it instead of allowing those feelings to overwhelm you. Dealing with the emotion in a healthy manner. The goal is not to change who you are but just be aware of yourself and surroundings on a moment by moment basis to be in the ever state of present. Instead of fretting over the past or worrying about the future you are able to enjoy the moment of now. Enjoy the way fresh hot food tastes, the way a hot shower relaxes you, the way the melody of a song calms you. In short practicing mindfulness and meditation helps you enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
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Recovery ways offers meditation times with inpatient treatment and another unique therapy called Sensory Integration Therapy. This therapy includes mindfulness as patients are allowed to express and encouraged to recognize their emotions and causes of them. It also teaches new ways of dealing with those emotions and finding comfort. To learn more about this therapy click here. To find out how mindful you are click here. This quiz is based on the Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale, which was developed by research led by Professor Lee Ann Cardaciotto at La Salle University and Drexel University.