Dealing with an addiction creates a scenario where you are off center, separated from your ideal self and lost within the fog of a substance-induced existence. Trying to navigate through life within this mind state can result in feelings of excessive anxiety, deep depression, isolation and even hopelessness.
The problem with a substance use disorder is that the very behaviors that are instigating all of your negative feelings and emotions are compulsively repeated, over and over again, blindly neglecting your personal health and well-being for a high that never fully satisfies.
It’s like running on a treadmill and thinking you are getting somewhere. While you feel as if you are moving, the fact of the matter is you’re actually in the same spot the entire time, expending copious amounts of energy to simply end up in the exact same place.
Once your addiction has fully taken root, negatively impacting your mind, body, and soul, where do you turn to begin correcting course and turning your life around?
For many, deciding to begin a therapeutic treatment program focused on substance abstinence and improved decision making is an essential first step. This will allow you to begin addressing your addiction with the help and guidance of clinically trained treatment providers.
While a number of therapeutic approaches exist to address all manners of substance use disorders, holistically-based treatment programs have proven extremely effective. In particular, mindfulness practices and meditative exercises have shown to positively impact and effectively treat everything from posttraumatic stress disorder to substance addiction.
This is achieved by addressing the very roots of addictive behaviors and targeting two of the main instigators of relapse: cravings and negative emotions. Understanding mindfulness can aid in overcoming your addiction and helping you achieve sustained sobriety through a holistic approach to your disease.
So, what is mindfulness and how does it work?
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a type of meditative practice that encourages you to be intensely aware of the present moment and all that it entails. Everything from the sights you see to the scents you smell – all of your senses – brought into the fold simultaneously in order to fully ingest the present.
Mindfulness urges you to become aware of both your internal experiences and your external surroundings, including how you respond to what is going on around you in the present moment without becoming overly judgmental or critical.
You see, the key to effective mindfulness is to become aware of your present situation without becoming overly attached to what it is you are experiencing, increasing your ability to simply let go of the negative things you have become attached to over the years.
This form of meditative intervention trains your mind to engage with the world around you in the present moment instead of giving attention to negative thought patterns.
Techniques that have proven effective during mindfulness training include:
- Focusing on your breathing patterns by taking the time to sit down, close your eyes and begin taking in deep and purposeful breaths of air.
- Paying attention to all of your senses by slowing down and focusing on everything that you are experiencing in the given moment.
- Accepting yourself for who you are and embracing the strength that is within you, driving you to face your addiction and overcome the grip it has on your life.
Effective mindfulness training works to short-circuit addictive behavioral patterns by helping you face what it is that makes you feel emotionally drained, while learning to embrace your faults and move past the moments in life that have negatively impacted your existence.
While this is no simple task, initiating the process is the first step to overcoming your addiction and achieving a healthier state of being.
Mindfulness for Addiction: How Does it Help?
Primarily, mindfulness helps someone struggling with an addiction by simply teaching them to slow down their thought process and quiet the mental chatter that often precipitates an impulsive decision to abuse a substance.
By addressing your emotional discomfort and seeing how those feelings can lead to addictive impulses, you can decrease the necessity to mute out your emotions with substance use through a deeper understanding of natural mental tranquility.
This is achieved by focusing on the beauty of life and everything that surrounds your existence. From the wind in the air to the birds in the sky to the smell of your favorite tea or coffee, beauty is all around you. Mindfulness helps you to finally see all of that natural beauty and use it to achieve a sober state of being.
While the disease of substance addiction is nothing new, using meditative practices and mindfulness to overcome your substance use disorder is an up-and-coming therapeutic intervention. By helping you become more aware of what is happening in your own mind, your addictive impulses become less spontaneous and more manageable.
This allows you to begin healing from the inside out and better manage your daily symptoms through a deeper understanding of yourself and the things you need to succeed in your recovery journey.
Mindfulness and Addiction Recovery: Practicing Mindfulness through an All-Encompassing, Holistic Approach to Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
With customized treatment plans that fit your unique recovery needs and offering an alternative to the traditional twelve-step program, Ranch Creek Recovery’s holistic treatment services can help you stop abusing drugs or alcohol and forge a fulfilling, clean future.
Our treatment programs have a six-client max. This allows us to provide you with complete, individualized care and 24/7 support. Through every treatment program, mindfulness and addiction recovery walk hand-in-hand, helping you to center your mind, body and spirit as you begin to forge your new, sober life.