Mindfulness consists of being present in the moment. It involves performing activities that allow you to focus and become fully present in your emotions, thoughts, and body sensations.
As you begin to practice mindfulness, it’s important to note that it is not a one-size-fits-all skill. It would be best if you choose activities that fit your lifestyle and recovery plan. Here are two key things that you should remember to do while being mindful:
- Be Intentional: Dedicate time to your mindfulness activity that is free of distraction, allowing you to fully concentrate on what you are doing and how you are feeling.
- Be Kind to Yourself: Remember to be kind to yourself. Accept where you are on your journey. Do not suppress or deny how you feel. If negative thoughts come up, actively change the narrative or negative self-talk to affirmations or thoughts of how you are improving.
Mindfulness activities could include taking a walk, sitting still while taking deep breaths or even mindfully eating a snack. Experiment with different activities until you find practices that work best for you.
How Mindfulness Promotes Recovery Success
Successful recovery and maintaining sobriety from substance abuse is a lifelong process. Learning how to practice mindfulness promotes recovery success because it helps you develop healthy coping strategies. Benefits of mindfulness include:
#1 Control of Emotions
Mindfulness helps you control your emotions. In recovery, part of relapse prevention is managing and overcoming feelings of stress and anxiety. Controlling these feelings provides you with the ability to control urges or triggers, both of which could lead to relapse.
Practicing mindfulness helps you detach from being reactive to any negative emotions, experiences, or environments and allows you to focus on making healthier and better choices.
#2 Stress Reduction
At Hawaii Island Recovery, you will gain the techniques you need to overcome these feelings without turning to addictive substances.
#3 Physical and Mental Health Improvements
Practicing mindfulness has a positive effect on one’s overall health. Being mindful has been shown to decrease heart rates, lower blood pressure, and boost energy levels. It can also leave you feeling more relaxed, confident, and refreshed. Additionally, mindfulness has been shown to reduce chronic pain and improve sleep, which will also increase your overall sense of well-being.
At Hawaii Island Recovery, we offer a variety of holistic health services to complement our evidence-based treatments for a well-rounded treatment plan that helps heal your body, mind, and spirit.More info
Mindfulness Techniques to Use Right Now
While mindfulness may sound easy, it does take practice. However, it is a skill that can be strengthened and developed over time.
Here are a few techniques to help you get started on your mindfulness practice. To begin, practice one or all of these steps a few minutes each day:
- Stand Up: Stop what you’re doing and stand up. Take a deep breath in, hold it, and slowly breathe out. Take these few seconds to concentrate on how you’re feeling in the moment from both an emotional and physical standpoint. Repeat as often as you like.
- Eat a Snack: Find a snack you enjoy and take a bite as you would normally. For the next bite, try mindfully eating — take a bite, but now eat it slower. Notice and savor those things you like about the snack during this second bite. Is it sweet, crunchy, or salty? Use all of your senses to help you fully engage in this activity.
- Create an Affirmation: Take a minute or two to think of an affirmation that is motivating. Examples of affirmations you could quickly repeat to yourself include: “I am happy and healthy,” “I am confident,” or “I am in control.” Find a meaningful statement and take a minute to repeat it to yourself. You can do this aloud or silently to yourself. Notice how your mood starts to change as you are intentional with positive and affirming thoughts.
These are just a few examples of techniques to help you get started immediately right where you are. However, many other activities can help you focus and be mindful, too. You can take a walk around the block. You can also remove any distractions (phone, social media, television) and sit still in a quiet place, taking a few minutes to let your body and mind relax.
At Hawaii Island Recovery, we offer holistic therapies as a complement to our evidence-based treatments in developing individualized plans for our patients. We can help you overcome addiction and live a fulfilled, happy life in recovery.
Developing mindfulness practices is an essential part of a recovery treatment plan. Practicing mindfulness will help you develop healthy coping techniques to overcome negative emotions, experiences, or environments that could lead to a relapse. Being mindful takes practice and is a skill that can be strengthened over time. Once you commit to consistently making mindfulness a daily practice, you will notice overall health benefits, including physical and mental well-being, stress reduction, and improvements in emotional control. If you or someone you know would like more information on why mindfulness is essential to recovery success, or if you want more information about our holistic health services, please call Hawaii Island Recovery today at (866) 390-5070. We provide an array of experimental cultural programming to support the well-being of our patients. We believe that recovery is possible for everyone and are dedicated to helping our clients live a life free of substance abuse and dependency.