Is Mindfulness Meditation The Best Drug And Alcohol Treatment?

If you are in recovery, you may already be involved with mindfulness practice in some form. Mindfulness is a practice that is recommended by many therapists. But, what does it mean to be mindful? And, how does mindfulness help with recovering from addiction to drugs and alcohol?

Focusing On Your Breathing And Your Eating.

Mindfulness is simply a state of active awareness of what you are doing and what is happening around you. It means to come off of autopilot. Stopping to smell the flowers would be an example of mindfulness. If you meditate or practice yoga, you learn to focus on your own breathing. In and out. This is mindfulness. Or, if you are on a diet that requires you to track everything you eat, you are being mindful through the practice of mindful eating.

The present moment is all you have.

Early in recovery from substance abuse, you may find that you are overtaken by emotions and thoughts. You may obsess over the past or the future. “What have I done?” “What am I going to do to fix this?” At some point, maybe in a therapy session or talking to someone at a recovery meeting, your perspective changes. You see the bigger picture. You do not have to obsess over the past and future. When your mind wanders, you can simply have faith that things will work themselves out. Now, you are free to live in the present moment, which is the only thing that is real in the world. Past and future are all in your head and they are the main source of your anxiety.

Buddhist Practitioners Recommend Mindfulness Meditation.

Buddhists do recommend mindfulness. It may be useful to study meditation techniques from an expert. Some people do actually visit a Buddhist temple or meeting place where meditation is practiced. Others choose to attend yoga classes. This is an individual decision. Support groups that help members through the recovery process may also help you with mindfulness training. For example, in working with a sponsor, you will write about yourself and become more aware of who you are. 

Meditate for a few minutes every day.

It has been noted that the one thing in common with the most successful people in the world, including many top CEOs, is that they meditate daily. In fact, many successful people claim that the most important element of their ongoing success is mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. They enjoy long nature walks and quiet time to take deep breaths and focus on their breathing. Thought and emotion can be reset on a daily basis, with brain networks being rebooted to a state of mindful calm. 

Treatment programs should focus more on mindfulness exercises.

There are meditation programs that teach mindfulness meditation which helps with emotion regulation and the reduction of negative thoughts. So, why is mindfulness meditation not offered among the treatment options at more rehabs? Wouldn’t it be beneficial for people suffering from alcohol abuse and drug addiction to learn mindfulness in these treatment facilities? There is an excellent opportunity for rehabs to provide mindfulness training to people with substance use disorder as a part of residential and outpatient programs. 

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy For Addiction Recovery.

MBCT combines the powerful psychological methods of cognitive-behavioral therapy with the more modern strategies of mindfulness and meditation. Traditional CBT is practiced by therapists and is aimed at correcting the patient’s cognitive distortions. Poor coping skills are replaced with better adapted coping skills. Introducing meditation practice and mindfulness can improve awareness, relaxation, and focus, accelerating overall progress in therapy.

Meditation and overall health.

Mindful meditation has assisted many people to recover from addiction. Addiction treatment should include mindfulness as part of treatment. In addition to helping people to get past drug abuse and overcome addiction, meditation has additional health benefits. For example, meditation can help to lower blood pressure. When you do get sober, you will realize that taking care of your physical health is important. By reducing overall anxiety, practicing mindfulness-based stress reduction, your physical health will also improve. Additionally, you will find it easier to live an overall healthier lifestyle, eating better and getting regular exercise. You will be pleased to discover that mindfulness meditation practice can improve your general well-being.

Helping family members with mindfulness.

When you were in active addiction, using alcohol or taking a drug on a regular basis, your family was always concerned about your well-being. Now that you are clean and practicing meditation and focusing on mindfulness, you can share the benefits of mindfulness meditation with your loved-ones. Teaching by example is the best way to help the people around you. When people close to you observe that in your recovery, you have an increased awareness of your mental and physical health, and they see how much better your quality of life is, they will want to know what you are doing. You can share with them the benefits of mindfulness meditation and how it reduces anxiety and brings improvement to all areas of life.

It is as simple as awareness of the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves your body.

Breathing exercises are essential to many mindfulness practices. You can start right away by taking slower, deeper breaths. Focus on the sensation of your breath at the tip of your nose as you slowly breathe in. Breath deeply. Then, slowly breath out, through your mouth. Focus your attention on your breath. Relax and take some time to simply be mindful of your own breathing. You are now on the path to a new life of success in recovery, free from addiction. Mindfulness and meditation can be a cornerstone of the foundation of your recovery.