The mind is constantly processing information. At any given time, you probably have a steady stream of thoughts running through your head. All of this noise can be stressful and increase risk of relapse in early recovery. By practicing mindfulness, you can learn to calm these thoughts, reduce stress, and take each day as it comes.
Remember that mindfulness takes time, so don’t give up. Keep practicing each day and making positive changes in your life. Here are just a few ways mindfulness can benefit you in recovery:
1. Be Present.
When your mind is constantly thinking about things that happened earlier or worrying about things that might happen later, it’s easy to lose sight of the here and now. Mindfulness can be very grounding. It helps you to be in the present moment. Stop and think about what is happening right now—what do you hear? See? Taste? Smell? Feel? Use your five senses to center yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed and all of the thoughts swirling through your mind are stressing you out.
2. Reduce Stress.
Stress can be a major trigger for relapse. By being present and slowing down, you realize that how you respond to stressors in your life is a choice. Acknowledge how you feel—frustrated, angry, confused, anxious—and then decide how you want to react. Try to find the silver lining. When you take back control, focus on your breathing and calm your mind, it can decrease the stress you feel.
3. Recognize Triggers.
Everyone has their own triggers that contribute to risk of relapse. By being mindful and paying attention to how you are feeling and what you are experiencing, you can detect triggers before they lead to poor choices. When you realize that you are starting to feel stressed out or are in the presence of someone who is a poor influence, you can respond more effectively. Recognize that the cravings or urges you feel will pass, get yourself into a safer environment, and change the negative thoughts in your head into more positive ones.
4. Take Life One Moment at a Time.
Recovery is about taking life one day at a time and one moment at a time. You have control over how you respond in any given moment. Mindfulness can help you to become more alert and aware. Without the influence of drugs or alcohol, you’re able to think and feel more clearly. Direct your thoughts toward things that will help you to keep moving forward in recovery. If you need help, reach out to your support system.
Seacliff Recovery Center incorporates holistic healing and treating each individual as a whole person—mind, body, and spirit—into addiction treatment. In addition to 12-step programs and evidence-based treatment, activities such as mindfulness and meditation are used to create a more comprehensive relapse prevention plan and support lasting recovery. If you’re ready to make a positive change and overcome addiction, Seacliff can help.