Mindfulness in Addiction Recovery

The following article was contributed by the editorial team at RehabCenter.net, which connects individuals with quality addiction treatment and care, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, we encourage you to seek professional treatment services before starting a mindfulness course. Once you are solidly in recovery, our 8-week mindfulness classes can be a valuable support for your continued healing.

To some, recovering from addiction may mean a focus on healing from the physical effects and learning to stay away from drugs or alcohol. Yet, there is so much more to recovery than these two goals.

Addiction is a brain disorder that hijacks a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It leads to damage to physical and psychological health, which is sometimes irreversible.

Overcoming addiction requires healing of every aspect of a person’s health. It also requires people to learn coping skills, mechanisms, and tools that arm a person for daily functioning within recovery.

Many treatment methods are used to help equip people with everything they need to get and remain sober, such as counseling, behavioral therapy, and medication.

One tool which is recently gaining support for use in addiction treatment is mindfulness. Although rehab centers, including those in Michigan, are only just recognizing the benefits this practice can provide to recovering individuals, mindfulness can aid greatly in addiction recovery.

How Mindfulness Works in Addiction Recovery

Mindfulness practitioners strive to focus on the present, which helps those struggling with addiction to face their cravings in a healthy way. Instead of burying the problem, or brushing it off, mindfulness helps individuals become aware of their self-defeating behaviors without judgment and find real ways to make changes within their lives.

Because mindfulness requires objectivity, it can be hard to achieve for many addicted individuals. They may struggle to look at their thoughts and behaviors without negative self-talk or hatred. Many mindfulness practitioners find increased self-compassion improves the likelihood that those struggling with substance use disorder will stay sober.

Inpatient treatment allows individuals to make the most intensive lifestyle changes by immersing them in the treatment environment. Here, individuals can attend therapy, counseling, and other treatments daily, including mindfulness training.

Addiction treatment mindfulness programs focus on teaching individuals how to be present enough to recognize their own thoughts and behaviors without judgment. Then, they may work toward implementing changes. Complementary treatments, such as behavioral therapy and counseling, aid in teaching individuals how to modify behavior.

With time, individuals can recognize their destructive thoughts as they happen, using behavioral therapy techniques to stop, alter, or redirect these thoughts. This aids in relapse prevention as well, lending to a lasting recovery.

To begin life anew in recovery, it’s important that individuals find the right treatments that work for them. Some may choose an evidence-based approach while others may seek more natural methods. Mindfulness can fit any treatment approach because its benefits to recovery are so vast.

If you are recovering from addiction, consider giving mindfulness a try. Practice it daily and let it guide your life and thoughts until you can recognize addictive thoughts and stop them in their tracks. Your body and mind are powerful; let them take the lead in your recovery.

Sources:

The Treehouse—Mindfulness and Stress Management Practices

Turning Point Treatment—Mindfulness In Addiction Recovery