Addiction, Recovery, Rehab

How to Practice Mindfulness

By Jennifer McDougall

 

Being mindful means to be aware and accepting of the present moment, your experiences, and sensations. It’s this therapeutic practice that helps ease your mind and body of anxiety, tension, cravings, and emotions. After eight weeks of practicing and training your mind and body to be mindful, studies have shown a great deal of improvement in the immune system; making it easier to fight off illness. This practice has also proven to increase positive emotions while reducing stress and negative emotions such as depression and cravings for addictive substances. Mindfulness has many other benefits such as, improving memory, empathy, focus, enhances relationships, and improves sleep patterns.

You do not have to be still or act as a statue to be mindful. It is simply living your life moment by moment. It helps to pay close attention to your breathing, especially when energy and emotions are intense or begin to increase. To best recognize when these emotions or energy begins to rise, you must remain aware—moment by moment. Remaining present in each and every moment means being completely conscious and not altering that consciousness with polluted substances, such as drugs or alcohol.

To achieve ultimate mindfulness, meditation is highly recommended.

Mindfulness Techniques

  • Basic Mindfulness Meditation – Paying close attention to the present experience moment by moment
  • Urge Surfing – A tool to stay focused from all distractions causing an impulse of desire for addictive substances. Without feeding it, repressing it, or fighting it let the be just that—an urge. Let it come, then set it free.
  • Body Sensations – Being aware of vibrations, temperature, pressure, lightness and heaviness, hardness and softness, itching, numbness, tingling, and all other sensations perceived within the body
  • Sensory – Be aware of sounds, sights, smells, flavors, or touches
  • Emotions – To feel physical expression completely

Benefits of Mindfulness:

  • Helps relieve stress
  • Improves focus and mental clarity
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces chronic pain
  • Helps treat heart disease
  • Improves sleep
  • Break free from addiction and anxiety
  • Mend broken relationships
  • Helps end self-destructive thoughts and behaviors
  • Overcome obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • Helps to be more engaged in activities
  • Form deeper connections with others
  • Less worry about the future or past regret
  • Heal from painful emotions or past trauma
  • Less concern about self-esteem, ego, or success
  • Expands the capacity to deal with unfavorable events

How to Practice Mindful Meditation:

  • Allow 10-15 minutes of quiet time away from your computer, cell phone, or any other outside distractions
  • Find a comfortable place to sit in the quietness of your home or office
  • Do no operate heavy machinery or drive while attempting to meditate or while listening to a guided meditation
  • Start with a guided meditation
  • Breathe slow, deep, and steady
  • Observe your inner thoughts, emotions, and sensations without judging any of them as they come and go (just be one with the flow)
  • Meditating can be challenging in the beginning, but if you stay with it you will soon come to experience the many benefits
  • Practice Mindful Meditation once a day if not more

Aside from meditating, mindfulness should be practiced throughout the day—moment by moment. It is an awareness you will soon become accustom to that will help you in more ways than one. Below are several meditations you can try today and throughout the week.

Purchase a copy of Meditation on The Perfect You

Urge Surfing Mindful Meditation:

Basic Mindfulness Meditation:

Healing Meditation Music:

 

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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