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  • CSSL Mental Health & Addiction Treatment Services

The Importance of Mindfulness in Recovery

As most people realize, your mind can wander and it also can control your mood and your overall outlook on life. When you are working on recovery from addiction, it is important to practice mindfulness but what exactly is it?

Mindfulness is a useful tool that can be used to train your mind to achieve a greater awareness of your own inner experience. When it comes to addiction recovery, it is becoming a very powerful resource to help you stay in recovery and to prevent relapse from occurring through providing a greater understanding of the thoughts and feelings that come along with cravings or become triggers. When you use mindfulness, it is easier for you to notice and accept emotions that are very challenging for you without giving into them.

You can use mindfulness to help you achieve better eating habits also. Many people tend to replace one addiction with another, which can include unhealthy foods that are packed full of sugar which can be just as addictive as many illicit drugs or alcohol.

Mindfulness and Focus

Mindfulness is the practice of keeping your focus and attention on the present moment. When you stay in the present moment, you can become more aware of the physical sensations you are having within your body. For instance, you will be able to feel that when you are nervous or anxious that your body has a physical reaction to it, such as an increase in your heart rate or your breathing. You can also notice the emotional responses you are having in the moment and the thoughts that come with those emotions. By using mindfulness, you can avoid using unhealthy foods as a way to numb your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Mindfulness allows you to pay more attention to various parts of what you are experiencing in the present moment which will allow you to be more in touch with your emotions, including those that make you want to use drugs or alcohol. Mindfulness is extremely important in the early stages of your recovery process since alcohol and drugs tend to have a numbing effect on your emotions. It is important to learn new ways to cope with your emotions in a healthy way to avoid using them again.

The Practice of Acceptance

One of the major factors of mindfulness is acceptance. With mindfulness, the main goal is to accept your emotions and difficult thoughts while accepting that they make you uncomfortable but without any judgment. Mindfulness helps you to have the thoughts that are difficult and the emotions that are uncomfortable without reacting to them. You will basically be able to commit to the feeling by identifying it and allowing it without using anything to numb it.

Diet and Exercise

By using mindfulness to overcome the thoughts that can trigger addiction, it is just as important to use healthy foods and exercise as a way to stay the course throughout your recovery process. When you exercise, endorphins are released which is the feel-good hormone. By obtaining better eating habits, you will feel better and be healthier in the long run. You should ensure that you are eating plenty of healthy vegetables, fruits, and lean meats while avoiding sugar-ladened foods, including candy and processed foods.

The combination of mindfulness and better eating habits, along with exercise, will keep you on track in your recovery and you will be healthy and productive at the same time.

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