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4 Ways Mindfulness Benefits Recovery

Although it might be considered an intuitive word, the term “mindfulness” is often brushed aside as unnecessary because of its arbitrary meaning. However, while it is not the solution to all of the many struggles that people face during recovery, it has merit that should not be ignored.

Mindfulness is commonly considered to be the same as meditation, but meditation is simply a way to achieve a state of mindfulness. On psychologytoday.com, mindfulness is described as a state in which we are able to be present in a particular moment. During this state, you observe yourself without passing judgment and are an active participant in your own introspection.

Imagine that something negative happened to you at work. When you are not in a state of mindfulness, you may feel angry, frustrated, or fearful, but you may not be able to (or be willing to) label your emotion and you may end up reacting negatively or self-destructively. However, if you are in a state of mindfulness, you will be able to step back, analyze all of your current feelings, and without passing judgment you can move past it with a more positive result.

1. Triggers
That leads me to my first benefit that mindfulness has on recovery: your triggers. One of the most difficult parts of recovery is avoiding relapse. First and foremost, you must be able to identify your triggers and replace the relapse with a healthy reaction. Mindfulness can easily be considered your best tool for success with this process. Every time you are feeling frustrated, mad, embarrassed, or misunderstood (or any negative feeling) immediately practicing your mindfulness will give you the best chance at moving past that feeling and onto more functional and happy feelings. Your ability to identify, communicate, and react to how you feel is a healthy process that gives you relief from your pain while also aids you in your ability to communicate with others about it. As you slowly, but surely, diminish the triggers in your life, you will be on the right path to a clean and free life.

2. Communication
Not only will this practice advantage your life, but it will help your relationships as well. Use mindfulness to not only empathize with your own feelings, but also with others. As you observe yourself and the situations that life throws your way, you will be able to see others’ actions more clearly and with better or no judgment. As you are able to forgive yourself, you will be able to understand and empathize with those whom you interact with daily. They are likely going through similar struggles in their life and attempting to make healthier decisions, and you can be that support for them. Embrace the chance to express your feelings constructively to your peers. Identify them, acknowledge that you are trying to understand the situation better, and then calmly allow them to express themselves to you- all the while you are listening intently and in the moment. That is the essence of mindfulness, being in the moment. So you can see how this practice can be integrated in every day life.

3. Replace Negative Emotion
It will take a lot of work, but mindfulness is a great way to be able to replace any strong negative reactions you may have with those of contentment and strength. At first, it will be a very conscious effort. You may have to remove yourself from a particularly stressful situation for a while, sit on your own with little distraction. As you breathe deeply and purposefully, your brain is trying to rewire your reactions. Eventually, this purposeful, sometimes difficult, act of removing oneself will take hold habitually and you can begin to slow down and analyze the present situation almost automatically. There are also cases where stress slowly builds up in your life. Practicing regular mindfulness daily, especially at the same time every day, will help you to slough off that stress in order to help you gain strength to conquer whatever it is that is bringing you down. Many people meditate in the morning, others during breaks at work, but at the end of the day can fulfill the same purpose.

4. All Around Better Health
Particularly, meditation is very well known for its healing properties. Mayoclinic.com reports that research has shown that those with anxiety, asthma, cancer, depression, pain, and sleep problems reported to be better able to manage their symptoms when they meditated. Meditation is often practiced during physical activities like yoga. Coupling these two is a great way to improve physically and mentally. But don’t stop there; if you enjoy walking, hiking, swimming, or other activities that can be done alone and in relaxing environments, you can practice this new skill with ease.

Now that you are aware- and hopefully motivated by- the advantages of mindfulness, you need to know how to even do it!

Try this instruction from centredaily.com:
“To begin, find a comfortable place to sit where you will not be disturbed or distracted by sights or sounds. This place could be your favorite chair, a bench in a secluded area of a park, or in the woods beside a quiet stream. Next, become aware of your breathing, feel the air flowing in and out of your body. Observe the rising and falling of your chest and stomach as you breathe. Feel your inner energy field. If any distracting thoughts arise, let those thoughts go and refocus your attention on your breathing.”

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/article101302767.html#storylink=cpy

Keep in mind that while meditation, mindfulness, and living in the present are important steps to becoming more aware of your situation and get you back to the right path, most in recovery need the right support group to release the chains of substance use. We want to be that support group for you! We have highly experienced counselors and recovery coaches. We want to create your individual recovery program to give you the best fighting chance. Give us a call or email if you feel like you are ready to experience the freedom of recovery.
Phone 360-397-8246 ext. 7580 or Email admission_office@lifelineconnections.org
Keywords: recovery Portland, mental health clinic Vancouver

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