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The Role and Benefits of Mindfulness in Addiction Recovery

Recovery from addiction is a journey that lasts for life. During addiction treatment, individuals learn how to recognize stressful life factors and work on finding positive behaviors and coping methods to reduce stress and prevent relapse. One tool that has proven to be very helpful to those in recovery is practicing mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness allows individuals to maintain a moment-by-moment awareness of their thoughts and feelings. By doing so, individuals are able to live more in the moment instead of rehashing the past and/or fearing future. Practicing mindfulness can fit into every lifestyle and help individuals focus on simple self-assessment in everyday life to maintain a positive and healthy attitude.

Mindfulness Benefits

Mindfulness is defined as “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.” It is a therapeutic technique that teaches individuals to live in the moment, taking stock of their body and their mind to become more self-aware. By remaining mindful of thoughts and feelings, including courage, fear, acceptance, desire, peace or worry, individuals can guide themselves along a positive path, rather than turning to the unhealthy behaviors they want to overcome. Mindfulness can be as simple as pausing for a moment to take stock of one’s feelings, requiring no special tools or significant time taken out of the day. This technique can be performed anytime and in any place, acting as a consistent guideline throughout everyday life.

Mindfulness Methods

There are several mindfulness methods that may be used to achieve self-awareness. At its most basic, mindfulness simply encourages individuals to focus on the moment they are in, rather than rehashing the past or fearing the future. Meditation is a common mindfulness method and is often integrated into the addiction treatment, as meditation can help the body and mind to relax for improved mental health and attitude. However, mindfulness can also be practiced in small moments—setting a “mindfulness alarm” on a cell phone or computer calendar also encourages individuals to stop their activities and take a moment to listen to their body and mind. Group meetings are another way to seek mindfulness on a regular basis, as well as promote peer support and encourage individuals to find effective solutions to stressors, worries, and other everyday challenges. Many of these mindfulness methods can be combined, providing overlap that accommodates changing daily activities and schedules for an integrated and easy way to remain aware of one’s body, mind, and surroundings.

At Tranquility Woods, we are dedicated to providing personalized, supportive, and integrated treatment to each individual. Our treatment program includes up to 5-10 hours, per week, of individual therapy with both substance abuse and mental health therapists; meditation therapy; group therapy; acupuncture; massage; equine therapy; family therapy and much more. You can find out more about our addiction treatment facility, located between Annapolis and Baltimore, when you visit our website or read through our blog.