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Five Ways to Use Mindfulness to Sustain Recovery

Five Ways to Use Mindfulness to Sustain Recovery

Learning to fully accept and even enjoy real life can help make the desire for drug use obsolete

Mindfulness refers to an individual’s ability to live in the present: to be fully mindful of his present surroundings, state of mind and experience. Being mindful helps a person enjoy his life to the fullest, by soaking up his current reality and not taking any moment for granted. Mindfulness can aid addiction recovery because individuals who struggle with addiction are often seeking an escape from reality. Learning to fully accept and even enjoy real life can help make the desire for drug use obsolete.

How Mindfulness Can Result in Contentment

People who do not practice mindfulness tend to get stuck in a pattern of simply going through the motions. They may dwell on the past or long for the future, but they do little to help themselves enjoy the present. They often overlook or ignore simple pleasures, failing to realize that the only time they truly have is the present moment. However, a person who is mindful notices the details of a beautiful day outside, such as the wind, the grass and the sun, and can enjoy every taste of a delicious meal without watching the clock or feeling impatient, even if he has an important impending appointment. These are just a couple examples of how living mindfully can lead to more joy and fulfillment.

How Mindfulness Aids Addiction Recovery

Listed below are ways that an individual can use the principles of mindfulness to sustain his drug addiction recovery.

  1. Managing stressful situations. Mindfulness helps individuals effectively manage their stress. Oftentimes, stress is related to concern about something that might happen in the future, a potential outcome instead of a present one. Being mindful allows a person to focus on what she can do in the moment to prevent a negative outcome. Instead of dwelling on the possibility of a bad situation, she can take action and find comfort in her ability to solve problems.
  2. Coping with drug cravings. Living in the present allows an individual to process a drug craving rather than act on it. Instead of immediately seeking to fulfill a craving by abusing opium, a person who practices mindfulness chooses to fully experience and work through the craving. The craving may be related to a stressful situation, and instead of choosing to use drugs, a mindful individual can choose to address his problem in a positive, direct way.
  3. Working through negative thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness gives a person the ability to experience unpleasant thoughts and emotions in a safe manner. One principle of mindfulness is never to judge the present. When a person judges his circumstances, he can become discontent. By allowing oneself to fully experience a negative feeling, it becomes easier to let that feeling go.
  4. Becoming more aware and more in tune with reality. Addictions are often perpetuated by a desire to disconnect from reality. The acceptance of reality helps a person no longer desire drug use. If she is content with her life in the present, she does not need to get high in order to escape.
  5. Practicing self-acceptance and self-compassion. Mindfulness leads to the practice of self-acceptance, self-compassion, and ultimately, a sense of peace. Mindful individuals accept themselves as they are. They do not place undue pressure on themselves. They are aware of their strengths, weaknesses and how they can get the most out of life.

Mindfulness is a valuable and important skill for any person, but for the recovering individual, it can be especially useful. The principles of mindfulness are in direct contrast to the motivations for substance abuse. Because of this, becoming mindful is an excellent defense against drug cravings and relapse.

Need Help Finding High Quality Addiction Treatment?

If you or someone you love needs help recovering from drug addiction, please allow us to help. We can offer you a treatment program that can lead you or your loved one to recovery. Our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day, so you can always call us and learn more about how to get onto the path of opium recovery. Don’t hesitate to give us a call today.