How Mindfulness and Serenity promote Recovery.
There has been a lot of recent talk about the value of mindfulness. Many news outlets including TIME magazine and CBS have recently featured this practice, and it has been gaining traction all over the U.S. in schools, government buildings, and recovery centers. Maybe you are wondering what I was wondering: what is all the hype?
What do mindfulness and meditation have in common?
At first glance, mindfulness seems to be a trendier word for meditation. And while meditation easily fits into the practice of mindfulness, it doesn’t ultimately accomplish the overall purpose. Meditation often involves removing yourself from distractions and then sitting or lying to be comfortable but aware. (As in, not too comfortable that you’re falling asleep.) Then, you breathe deeply and pay attention to your breath while allowing any thoughts and observations you have to pass by quietly. If your mind wanders too much, you then bring yourself back to this default state of focused breathing. Often the meditation practice is done in 30 minutes, and then you can go about your day. It’s a daily exercise for the mind so to speak.
cleaning, or whatever you normally do. While you are doing these things, you simply have to be in the moment doing it. There is an ancient Chinese saying that goes, “When you’re walking, just walk.” We can adapt this saying to almost anything else we do. When you’re driving, just drive; when you’re playing, just play; etc.
Have you ever had the feeling and thought, “Did I shower today?” You wonder to yourself how it’s possible that you forgot what you did an hour ago. Have you noticed that this happened when you went through that routine while also thinking about a million other things? When you are showering, just pay attention to the shower. Feel the warmth of the water, smell the fragrance of the soap, and just be in the moment.
Think about it: how often do we just focus on what we are doing? I know I can readily benefit from this practice. Every minute of my day is filled with thoughts like, “Okay, what do I need to be doing to prepare for the next thing coming up?” or “I need to remember to do ________ today because I keep forgetting.” I am constantly trying to make sure I don’t miss anything, but in the meantime, I am missing everything that’s going on for me right now.
Practicing this kind of awareness is a great exercise for our minds and can benefit recovery in many ways.
Becky Nichols, a therapist and instructor here at Gulf Breeze Recovery, would like to share this guided meditation we use often in our groups.
When the purpose of recovery isn’t to be just replacing one unhealthy coping mechanism with another. It becomes necessary to understand and have a high awareness of where our feelings of anger, sadness, loneliness, happiness, etc. come from and then be able to allow ourselves to feel without the need to “make” the “bad” feelings go away.
To understand that our natural “default” setting is always peace and calm and that we all can experience this “birthright” if we can understand it at a higher level, get out of our “own way” and just allow our true nature to unfold. When we understand that it is ok to let feelings and the thoughts associated with those feelings to pass and that by doing so paves the way to experience natural tranquility and serenity there is no longer a strong need or desire to change how we feel by using substances.
Gulf Breeze Recovery wants every person who participates in the program to have the best possible opportunity to achieve lasting sobriety, overall health, and a happy, peaceful life.
If you or someone you care about, has an ongoing history of substance use and/or relapse, contact us at Gulf Breeze Recovery or call: (855) 433-4480 to speak to an addiction expert to learn more about our program that has helped so many people overcome their addiction and embrace life.
We help people not just to survive, but to THRIVE!
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