12 Steps of Mindfulness for Addiction Recovery
Humans are creatures of habit. We seek comfort in the things that are known, and are often unable to accept things that are foreign or new simply because we aren’t familiar with them yet. When we first opened our non-12 step addiction recovery facility in the metro Atlanta area, we were met with a lot of resistance from people in the community who simply couldn’t understand how a person could recover without those ubiquitous steps. But there are people who struggle with the 12 steps for various reasons who need a meaningful alternative. So we wondered, what would the 12 steps look like through a mindfulness lens?
Research Proves Mindfulness
Anyone researching mindfulness quickly realizes the advantages of it when used in everyday life. It is so much more than just a tool to apply to remain sober–mindfulness can enrich your whole life. The evidence is clear: mindfulness is effective in drug and alcohol abuse. It has helped many individuals for whom the 12-steps were not successful. While most addiction treatment facilities are 12 step based, there are more and more facilities which are turning to other options, such as mindfulness-based recovery. These recovery alternatives are just as effective as the traditional 12 step model of recovery. In fact, sometimes they are more effective, than the traditional 12 steps of AA for addiction recovery. Moreover, proper mindfulness-based recovery programs note that their clients struggle less with sobriety, have less instances of cravings, their cravings are for a shorter duration, and that co-occurring issues such as depression, anxiety, and burnout are often significantly improved or even cease altogether. In short, mindfulness can help every area of your life.
Why choose mindfulness for Recovery?
Our clients can live a healthy, happy life through mindfulness, one where they aren’t forced to “white knuckle” their way through sobriety and without the need to give everything up to a higher power. They do not need to identify themselves as a “hopeless addict/alcoholic” for the rest of their lives, forced to forever battle against a hopeless disease.
Unfortunately for many, mindfulness still feels like a foreign concept. People simply aren’t as familiar with other forms of treatment for addiction recovery, and thus, turn away from the unknown, even if it could ultimately be better for them.
A Healthier Community for all
Our goal at Centered is not only to help our clients live healthy, meaningful lives, but also to help our community understand what true mindful awareness is and how life changing it can be. We know that healthy individuals help support healthier families, and healthier families go on to create healthier communities for all.
We live and work in the North Atlanta Metro Area, our kids go to school, sports, and socialize here as well. Therefore, while some may see our goal as too lofty, we strive to help create a healthier community for our own family, friends, and neighbors to live in. One way we attempt to meet the community is by allowing them to feel comfortable with our work.
Mindful Recovery In Atlanta, Georgia
Our drug rehabs Atlanta, Georgia clients helped create their own “12 Steps of a Mindful Recovery” through a mindfulness perspective. They rewrote the original steps using language that they felt comfortable with, that they found ultimately more impactful and useful to their “centered” mental health and sobriety.
These are shared below in hopes that people throughout Georgia, and eventually the world, will see that we are writing a whole new book on how to recover from addictions–one that is meaningful, life-changing, and empowering. Get a happier and health life back by calling us now at 1-800-566-2966
12 Steps of Recovery from a Mindfulness Perspective
- Admit that thought has made you feel powerless over a substance. Admit that using a substance in an attempt to change the way you feel lowers your level of consciousness (and chemically, can often lower your level of consciousness regardless of why you used it). Admit that thinking is not reality, even though it looks as if it is sometimes. Really, really looks as if it is.
- Understand that mindfulness/awareness can return us to our natural state of being, our natural “flow”, and that you can get out of your own way to return to that feeling of clarity, peace, and flow at any time.
- Be willing to decide to give less attention to judgment and egoic thinking and more attention to present awareness. Be willing to “Be Still and Know”.
- Notice where your attention and awareness is in your daily life, and understand that my character is made or unmade by my own actions.
- Become capable of looking at my past self with compassion, understanding that my past choices were based on where I was mentally, spiritually, and emotionally at the time. Remember that the past does not equal the future as long as I do not continually repeat my past actions. Have compassion for others in their own psychological innocence rather than judge them for their moments of weakness or struggle, just as I have for myself.
- Become entirely ready to accept that my thoughts, even about MYSELF, are not reality, but rather a unique perspective of reality based on a menagerie of filters through which I see everything: my health, my education, my mood at the moment, my upbringing, etc. Know that what I have done in the past is not who I am in the present moment.
- Humbly accept that all of my suffering has been caused by believing my own fairy tale, my own version of reality in each moment.
- Make a list of healthy/supportive relationships that you want to keep/gain and be willing to be humble and honest with them.
- See #8. Strive to be humble and honest in your life. Nothing else required.
- Feel the burn of the ego that wants to defend you when you’re wrong.
- Sought through meditative awareness to improve conscious contact with what IS and becoming comfortable with that.
- Just be.