Being Mindful in Recovery

The term ‘mindfulness’ has been plastered on headlines everywhere and been casually used in conversation, but what does it actually mean? If you think that mindfulness is sitting cross-legged in a circle while you ‘ohm’ your pain away – you have it all wrong.

Addict posed for meditation to help improve mindfulness in their addiction and mental health recovery at Destination Hope

Simply put, being mindful means that you are focused entirely in the present. You allow and acknowledge all feelings, sensations, and thoughts that come to you in your present state. Often time, when people develop an addiction, it is to avoid or escape their present by using drugs or alcohol. Therefore, learning how to be mindful can be of great use to a person in recovery.

Mindfulness in Recovery

Mindfulness is a practice, which means it does not always come naturally and you need to, well, practice! A lot of people tend to live their life in auto pilot – hyper focused on their past or future stressors. This causes us to lose touch with ourselves and misunderstand our body and our emotions. Being mindful is just stopping, taking a breath, and living entirely here.

So, here’s the catch. Living in the present is not always easy. Sometimes when you stop and focus on yourself completely, uncomfortable emotions arise. This is natural and it happens to everyone. We are not always going to feel relaxed and Zen when we practice mindfulness, but it allows you time to understand why you feel this way and work with the sensation.

People can turn to addiction when they are unable or unwilling to face themselves in their current state. However, the more you practice mindfulness, the easier it becomes to identify why you feel the way you do and work to improve. Recovery comes with a lot of new feelings, or feelings you have previously ignored. Mindfulness helps you to confront these emotions head on and become acquainted with them. When you take away the fear of emotion, it makes facing them a little less scary. You are human, you are alive, the ability to feel is a blessing.

The Bottom Line

Practicing mindfulness during recovery can be a great skill to have in your toolbox. Recovery can be overwhelming and erupt a lot of unfamiliar emotions, mindfulness allows you to become friends with these emotions.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Destination Hopeis here to provide individualized care to help people overcome their addiction and live their life in a happier and healthier way.

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