Mindfulness Practices to Step Up Your Recovery


Over 2500 years ago, Buddha popularized the practice of mindfulness as a means to achieve enlightenment through focusing your attention on the present moment. It's a non-threatening approach to expanding your sphere of consciousness and gaining a more genuine, profound insight into who you are and the world around you.

The many practices of mindfulness are believed to be beneficial for the human body and soul, and there are also reasons to think that it can significantly help if one battles with any sickness, restlessness, or addiction. Thus, read on if you'd like to learn more about mindfulness practices to step up your recovery.

4 Mindfulness Practices to Step Up Your Recovery

As we have said, mindfulness practices have been found to significantly benefit health and well-being, both mental and physical. This practice may help you manage your anxiety, get insight into who you are, and accept and deal with feelings that may not have a rational basis. Moreover, those who have battled an addiction to alcohol, drugs, dysfunctional relationships, or other harmful habits benefit significantly from incorporating mindfulness exercises into therapy. At Spiritual Growth Events, we often talk about these exercises and teach them as well.

two people hugging while looking at their phones
Mindfulness will help even with the worst forms of addiction.

The brain is the only organ that's sculpted by experience and practice, much in the same way as a muscle becomes larger and stronger with exercise. In the past, when you frequently participated in specific thoughts and actions that pushed your addiction, you inadvertently changed your brain in ways that worked against you and hindered you from being present. Similarly, mindfulness practice, like meditation, allows you to consciously alter your brain in ways that increase your sense of agility, sanity, and contentment. 

However, rehab and recovery can't depend on mindfulness and meditation only. Once someone finds themselves deep in addiction, addiction treatment programs are the only way to go. People with a severe addiction need to get adequate help quickly, so if your loved one is already too deep, mindfulness won't work that well. But when they get into recovery, it can significantly boost their success. Here are 4 of the best mindfulness practices to step up your recovery.

1. Meditation

Mindfulness relies heavily on meditation, although it isn't its only technique. Mindfulness meditation here often lasts anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes and entails sitting quietly, paying attention to one's breathing, and letting one's thoughts wander without judgment. Meditation is reserving a certain amount of time each day to relax the body, recharge the mind, and hone concentration. As a result, this may aid your healing in two ways. The first is that it helps you learn how to concentrate on the ideas and stop focusing on tension, anxiety, and negative thoughts. The second benefit is that you can take a break, unwind, and study your mind. Therefore, you get a better understanding of who you are as well. It can be really helpful for someone trying to put themselves back together after overcoming addiction.

2. Staying present

Are you the sort of person who eats a meal too quickly and hardly recalls it, spends half an hour in the shower, and it seems like a few minutes? Or blanks out when on public transit or driving in a vehicle with others? Then you're probably not very good at remaining in the present moment. The reason may be zoning out, or it can be worrying or daydreaming. Ultimately, whatever the cause, it diminishes your quality of life because you're not paying attention to the things that genuinely please you. Drugs and alcohol do not bring genuine pleasure. But what does can be something as minor as what breakfast tastes like when you spend a few minutes relishing it. Or how much more connected you feel to friends when you're actively engaged with them. Or even something as simple as leading a complaint-free life. These things matter in every instance. Eventually, observing the present moment and being present in it will assist you in finding greater delight in those things and in requiring drugs as an escape less and less.

a woman drinking her coffee in bed while looking out the window
Once you start implementing mindfulness practices to step up your recovery, your quality of life will significantly improve.

3. Eliminating Attention Bias

Attention bias is the phenomenon when you have something in front of your mind. Therefore, you notice it everywhere. For instance, when you buy a new car, you may start noticing other cars more often than you did before. People also do this with drugs, and if you have a preconceived notion about, say, alcohol, you'll start seeing it wherever you go. That's terrible news for your sobriety since it implies the object of your focus will continue to do so every time you see it. By focusing on the here and now, mindfulness helps you avoid letting your preoccupation with drugs cloud your judgment. One research found that those who actively practiced mindfulness were far less likely to have this form of attention bias than others who had a comparable length of sobriety but were not practicing mindfulness. Remember that by being more mindful, you'll also avoid the ego's insidious trap of self-criticism, which can be detrimental to some addicts.

4. Organization and Routines

Having some organizational system or ritual in place may help improve mental health and speed up healing. If you have a consistent daily routine, the stress hormone cortisol will be reduced, and your mood will be lifted. Having a schedule to follow every day is very, very helpful. As rehab and recovery experts, archstonerecovery.com advises that the actual benefit does not come from the routine itself. It comes from the positive connections that the routine helps you form in your mind.

a man tying his shoes in his bedroom
People generally function a lot better and also feel better when they are following a routine.

Now imagine that you only practice mindfulness and other recovery techniques when you're in a difficult circumstance and trying to lower your stress reaction. Eventually, your brain will come to link stress with these or any other healing procedures. This is just your body's way of protecting itself. The brain is much more moldable than you think and easily forms connections between experiences. It would help if you tried to recognize and avoid potentially stressful situations as early as possible. Whether you are deliberately or unconsciously implementing these mindfulness practices to step up your recovery regularly, you'll see the results very soon.