Mindfulness is a practice grounded in awareness. In treatment for addiction, people practice mindfulness to help stave off cravings and lead to personal realizations around thoughts, emotions, and body sensations. Cravings and impulse control are challenging so mindfulness therapy grows in popularity to support this aspect of addiction and recovery.
There are many thoughts that lead to addiction and emerge from the ashes of memory. Learning how to accept those thoughts and let them move on is what mindfulness therapy is about. This technique aims to help a person reframe thinking patterns, and in effect, replace substance use with healthy coping skills. Mindfulness therapy can be best understood as a mental state of being that focuses on thoughts, sensations, and emotions which arise from an experience. Mindfulness training should help a person become disengaged from that experience. This is what is known mostly as acceptance or non-judgment.
The primary goals of mindfulness therapy used in addiction treatment include:
- Help people tolerate uncomfortable states of being including cravings or urges
- Help people experience difficult emotions, including anger and fear, without reacting right away
Mindfulness meditation can help a person become aware of all incoming thoughts and feelings, accept them, and release attachment. The typical outcomes for this style of therapy include:
- Interruption of the automatic processes
- Teach participants to focus less on reacting to stimuli
- Accept and observe experiences without judgment
When addiction develops, one’s full attention can be focused on obtaining and using the drug of choice. When the body is on full alert it can be agitating and frustrating. Mindfulness will help increase the ability to accept and tolerate the present moment and focus on making positive changes. It can also help improve sleep, lower blood pressure, manage chronic pain, relieve stress, and help reduce anxiety.
Why it Works
Mindfulness therapy is all about focusing on mindful thoughts, movements, and feelings including stretching, gentle movements, and respecting the body. Formal asanas as in yoga are not taught because it is not about moving through poses. It is generally focused on building mental clarity and acuity. Once a person is aware of triggering thoughts, feelings, and emotions it is easier to tackle those stressors head on with one more set of tools for the toolbox.
Cypress Lakes devotes time to helping you explore mindfulness and mind, body, spirit connection in recovery. We will help you develop an individual program that supports your recovery now and in the future. Whether it is yoga, mindfulness, or a combination of many things, we are here to help you design recovery that works. Call us to get started: 877-938-1577