For people in all stages of recovery, mindfulness can be an important tool for coping with stress. Stress is all around us, especially for those in early recovery. This is why mindfulness can be such a powerful tool. It requires us to take a moment to be present, and focus on things outside of ourselves.
In situations where a recovering person is tempted to get high or drunk, mindfulness can be a powerful tool that can help that person take a step back and focus on themselves and their recovery.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness, is a practice that helps people become aware of their mental, emotional, and physical experience in the present moment. Through mindfulness, you can choose to experience the situation without being forced to react. Mindfulness can help you create a healthy responses to stress and any impulse to numb your emotions such as anxiety or emotional pain.
This coping tool is almost the opposite of addictive behavior in one important way; it prevents you from reacting in an impulsive way, even when you’re stressed out or upset. Stepping back from reactivity can help you make healthier decision or give you the strength to pick up the phone and get help when you’re feeling vulnerable.
How to Practice Mindfulness
First of all, it’s important to realize that stress is a natural response to challenges in your life in recovery. You may have problems with your family, finances or workplace. In recovery, you often need to meet these challenges head-on. Mindfulness can help you practice self-care when things are difficult or you’re feeling overwhelmed
Mindfulness is a very simple stress reduction practices that you can practice in any time or place. One of the easiest ways to practice is by paying attention to your breath. Feel it go in and out. Take deep, long breaths. As you do this, start to pay special attention to the sounds around you, any wind, the sensation of the sun on your face, and other parts of your environment. As you do this, let go of your fear or anger, and just let yourself “be” for several minutes. By doing this, you’re able to resist the natural “fight or flight” response that the body creates with stress, and reclaim calmness and relaxation.
Recovery is a Journey
If you or somebody you love is interested in getting started with recovery, but you’re not sure what you need to do, please give us a call. We’re available at 619-363-4767. All calls are 100% confidential.