When it comes to addiction recovery, long-term healing is the end goal of all treatment programs. Recovering from addiction isn’t always a linear process, and it comes with a lot of complexities. It may be one of the most significant challenges you will face throughout your life as it is ongoing and can be internally and externally destructive when not treated effectively. What can you do to make the recovery process easier and more seamless?

Using Mindfulness in Recovery

One proven effective type of treatment when it comes to obtaining a goal of long-term healing is mindfulness. Mindfulness practices exist in many different forms, ranging from meditation and breathing exercises to journaling and body scanning. Regardless of which and how many mediums you use during your recovery, mindfulness has been proven to come with positive immediate and long-term effects.

Defining Mindfulness

Mindfulness dates back to over 2,500 years ago, when Buddha originally introduced it as a path to spiritual enlightenment, putting emphasis on the importance of being present in your own life. There is a reason mindfulness techniques have stuck around for so long. When you become present, you can also learn to observe thoughts and emotions rather than reacting to them without considering the consequences that may come with that reaction. Mindfulness creates a separation between us and the burdens of both the past and the future.

In addition, the ability to live in the present moment comes with higher levels of happiness, increased feelings of gratitude and acceptance, relationship improvements, and more enjoyment of living. It is a gentle way of reshaping your brain to promote greater awareness, resulting in a more authentic and deep understanding of yourself and the world you live in.

Mindfulness and Long-Term Recovery

You may be wondering how mindfulness can help when it comes to long-term addiction recovery. In addition to the more commonly talked about positive benefits of mindfulness, there are numerous ways in which mindfulness practices can help achieve and maintain sobriety.

Reshape Your Brain

In the past, when you’ve repeated negative behaviors that accelerated your addiction, you probably didn’t know that your brain was being shaped in ways that didn’t work in your favor. However, practicing mindfulness can work to reshape your brain to bring greater emotional control and awareness into your healing process.

Being mindful and aware can help you learn to cope with reality as it is instead of how you perceive it. In addition, recognizing the negative thoughts and behaviors that have stemmed from your addiction gives you the ability to challenge them, allowing you to view yourself in a more positive and true light.

Alleviate Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety

It is commonly known that anxiety and depression can both act as triggers that may potentially lead back to patterns of addiction. Mindfulness can help to alleviate symptoms of both. When mindfulness is practiced consistently, the positive effects you reap from these practices can last for years.

Recovery from addiction is a lifelong process that involves managing and adapting your environment and thoughts in order to have the best chances of long-lasting sobriety. When symptoms of anxiety and depression are alleviated, you lessen your likelihood of relapse occurring at any point down the road.

Quiet the Mind

Imagine a world where you could control your tendency to have intrusive anxious thoughts. Mindfulness actually makes this possible. Mindfulness practices present you with the ability to quiet any worrisome thoughts that may lead to using substances. In addition, practicing mindfulness can improve emotion regulation, directly alleviating stress and allowing for an overall better mood and increased self-control.

Connection to Self and Others

Mindfulness will also ultimately lead to a stronger connection to self and others. A strong connection to self and others allows for a more substantial connection to a sober community, which is essential in navigating, managing, and enjoying the gifts that come with leading a sober life, even after treatment. Being more present heightens your experience of feeling connected not only to yourself and others but to the world around you.

Increase Self-Compassion

One benefit of mindfulness that is often overlooked within the recovery process is the increase in self-compassion. Once you can be compassionate toward yourself, it opens up doors to a whole new world where you can also show compassion to others. With compassion comes the ability to build healthy relationships that will positively affect your emotions and help you heal. Compassion also opens our minds and hearts to the innate and never-ending potential within us and allows us to tap into that potential during the healing process.

Mindfulness includes a wide range of practices that can help you while you heal from addiction. From meditation to journaling, mindfulness can help decrease depression and anxiety, promote a connection to self, quiet the mind, and more. If you are struggling with addiction and think mindfulness practices may be an effective form of treatment for you, help is available. Bella Monte Recovery Center in Desert Hot Springs, California, offers a unique and compassionate approach to mindfulness. We offer a host of treatment services designed to help those struggling with addiction get the help they need. Our program provides continued support for a healthy lifestyle long after a person completes their stay. Here at Bella Monte Recovery Center, we believe intervention for addiction works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. For more information on our program and how we can help you apply mindfulness to your recovery, call us today at (800) 974-1938.