During recovery, mindful meditation is a beneficial tool to use to help anchor yourself in the present. Sitting with your own thoughts and feelings can first appear scary, which is why it is essential to ease into the practice and find moments throughout your day to implement breathwork and awareness. The more you engage with the practice, the more benefits it will offer you during recovery.
What Is Mindful Meditation?
Mindful meditation is a type of meditation that keeps you aware of the present moment and all aspects of it. During its practice, you become aware of your own thoughts, feelings, and sensations, as well as the environment around you. The purpose of mindful meditation is to encourage a more gentle way of perceiving yourself and the world around you.
In this practice, you can also engage in mindfulness. This differs from typical meditation, as mindfulness can be practiced at any point during the day to help connect you back to the present moment and engage with the world through a positive lens. There are no guidelines for this practice. It is beneficial to practice mindfulness daily to bring awareness to the moment you are presently in.
When you find a scenario causing anxiety, or you feel your thoughts are racing during recovery, taking a deep breath and paying attention to these feelings is an example of practicing mindfulness. By acknowledging your thoughts and feelings, you can then stabilize yourself in the present moment.
To practice mindful meditation, specifically, set aside time to sit with and acknowledge all of your thoughts. As all of your thoughts and feelings roll by, accept them and understand them as elements of your present moment. When adding meditation to this practice, notice what your body is doing – how you are sitting and how comfortable you are – and then focus on breathing.
Focusing on your breath helps stabilize your mind, even if it wanders, in the present moment. The external world will move around you, but you will stay with yourself as you breathe through the practice and sit with your thoughts.
The most critical piece to remember when practicing is to be kind to yourself. This is a non-judgemental practice, one that is forgiving. As the practice continues, you develop the ability to practice mindfulness at any point in the day. It is important to recognize yourself and your mind in the present moment while also letting go of distractions and other external factors.
How Will Mindful Meditation Help Me in Recovery?
Mindful meditation can support you during recovery by easing overwhelming feelings and redirecting your attention to the present moment, ensuring you are stable and okay.
Mindfulness can also affect brain activity, depending on the individual. Practicing can help prevent relapse alongside other treatment plans.
There are many different mindful-based interventions that have been implemented to reduce and prevent substance use and relapse episodes. Some examples include mindfulness-based stress reduction and mindfulness-based relapse prevention. Determining which path to take is dependent on an individual’s goals. Studies have shown that mindfulness has helped reduce cravings compared to other methods of treatment.
This awareness mindfulness introduces is important during recovery as you become aware of your actions more so. You are able to recognize the present moment in full, understanding your feelings as they connect to either your thoughts or actions. This includes being able to recognize your cravings and sensations at the moment.
From there, it becomes easier for you to take a step back and engage with yourself in a more positive, gentler way. You are more capable of dismissing craving sensations. Likewise, in an impulsive event, mindfulness is a tool to fall back on by stopping yourself to perceive the present and contemplate choices before instantly acting.
In the instant of a relapse, mindfulness can also be a supportive tool. You are able to sit, reflect, and understand yourself in a more positive light. The negative or belittling emotions are easier to dismiss and disengage with when practicing mindfulness and trying to understand yourself better. From there, it is easier for you to move forward and not let one moment define you.
With continuous practice, mindfulness can lead to overall more positive emotions and feelings. The more this practice is implemented in daily life, not just a set amount of time, the more present you feel during any daily activity. For instance, if you are practicing mindfulness while eating, it is found to increase enjoyment and an overall better experience.
Mindfulness also helps reduce stress levels, which can heighten during points of recovery. Becoming more aware of yourself already decreases stress levels as you are able to engage with yourself in a more understanding way.
It is important to note, however, that mindfulness and mindful meditation are works in progress. Continuous practice and dedication can lead to this positive, gentle perception of the present moment.
Here at Destiny Recovery Center, we promote a wide variety of tools to aid people in their recovery journeys. Mindfulness and mindful meditation are just two of the practices we encourage. Over time, both mindfulness and mindful meditation allow individuals to engage with themselves and the world around them in a more positive light. With continuous practice, individuals find themselves more capable of sitting and reflecting on their feelings and thoughts as they occur. Using mindfulness and mindful meditation throughout other treatment modalities is crucial to a well-rounded program. We note that these are tools, not solutions, that support recovery and an individual’s perception of the world in general. Call us at (909) 413-4304 for more information.