The Complete Guide to Mindful Recovery: A Powerful Tool for Overcoming Addiction

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Mindful Recovery: A Powerful Tool for Overcoming Addiction

Can you imagine a tool that could be at your fingertips anytime you wish to feel a sense of peace and clarity? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, that’s mindfulness for you. Mindfulness is so much more than just serene meditation sessions on top of a mountain. It is a versatile tool that allows you to easily add present awareness into daily activities through mindful recovery.

While this practice sounds simple, it requires a sense of dedication that can really shift how you respond to and experience the world around you. When we focus on the act of mindfulness, we start to learn how to accept the feelings and thoughts we experience as they are, allowing us to have a stronger relationship with ourselves. At Centered Recovery, we have mastered the art of incorporating mindful recovery practices into addiction treatment. Keep reading to learn all about our unique and tailored approach to mindful recovery for overcoming addiction!

What is Mindful Recovery?

When we think of mindful recovery, it’s common that we envision sitting on a yoga mat, listening to the sounds around us, all while trying to calm our minds. While this certainly is a mindful activity, there is a whole world of possibilities when it comes to practicing mindful recovery. The goal of this practice is to, essentially, learn to be present in the moment we are currently in. This can sound easy, but it’s normal for it to take some practice to be comfortable!

When we are being mindful, we are accepting of our current feelings, while also being sure not to judge them. We spend a lot of our days judging ourselves, but when you practice mindful recovery, you are allowing yourself to just be. A lot of us tend to dwell on the past or worry about the future, but mindfulness practices are especially helpful in reminding us of our present moments.

When we get in a space of being aware of the present moment, it’s not uncommon that we start to judge how we are feeling. Maybe you spend time sitting in present emotions or feelings, but suddenly they become overwhelming and we turn to distraction instead. It’s not uncommon for difficult emotions to be uncomfortable, and it’s natural that we tend to turn away from them. With mindfulness practices, you are recognizing those feelings, but choosing not to label them as “good” or “bad”.

When we acknowledge and accept our thoughts and feelings as they come up, without trying to resist or change them in any way, we are helping our brain and body process emotions healthily. The more we learn to be mindful of our experiences and feelings, the easier we will find our journey of recovery!

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How Can You Practice Mindful Recovery?

Now that we understand the basic idea of mindful recovery, you may be wondering how you can actually incorporate this into your daily life. Here are a few ways that mindfulness practices can be added to your daily rhythm!

Mindful Breathing

The goal here is to focus on your breath. Pay attention to how it feels when you breathe in. Pay attention to the rise and fall of your chest or belly. If your mind wanders, that’s okay, just gently bring your attention back to the sensation of your breath. 

Body Scan

The goal of body scanning is to direct your attention to any part of your body where you may be experiencing sensations related to how you’re feeling. Are your shoulders tight? Is your jaw clenched? Is your body relaxed or stiff? All of these are questions you can ask yourself as you bring your attention to all parts of your body. If there is any tension or discomfort, try to notice this without trying to change anything. 

Mindful Walking

How often do we decide to go on a walk and truly take in the fullness of our surroundings? Maybe not that often. It’s common that we listen to music while we walk or talk to a friend on the phone. But, are you too busy reigning in the dog to notice what’s around you? The goal of mindful walking is to walk slowly and intentionally, paying attention to how it feels as your body moves. For example, pay attention to how it feels for your feet to hit the ground with each step. Notice the sights around you, like the sounds of the birds or busy streets. Mindful walking allows us to recognize sights, sounds, or smells that we haven’t noticed before!

Mindful Journaling

How to be Mindful in Recovery

You may be wondering how mindful journaling could look any different from regular ol’ journaling. The difference lies in the intent and approach you take towards journaling. When being mindful while journaling, the focus is on the present moment and how you are currently thinking, feeling, and experiencing in your body. Mindful journaling includes noticing these feelings without judging them as they come up. Also, being mindful while journaling takes time. It is both slow and intentional, which encourages deeper reflection of the current moment you are experiencing. You can also integrate mindfulness into the physical experience of writing by noticing the feeling of the pencil in your hand or the motion of the pencil on the paper. 

Mindful Observing

This one may sound silly, but it literally entails exactly what’s in the title: simply observing. When was the last time you sat somewhere and did nothing but take in what you were seeing? Maybe you visited the Grand Canyon! You would have no choice but to stand in awe and observe. Mindful observing can happen anywhere. It can even happen in your own backyard, on the highway on your trek to work, or in your kitchen while you make breakfast. Notice the details of any objects around you. What colors, shapes, and textures are present? This is an excellent practice to bring our bodies and minds back to the present moment.

What Does Mindful Recovery Look Like in Addiction?

Most treatment options oriented towards addiction recovery are quick to try to put a bandaid on a bullet hole. With traditional 12-step programs, the main goal is to get you to get rid of your addiction and move on. But, how well does this really work? If we don’t get to the root of the issue, how often is it that a surface level treatment works? A traditional 12-step program may be effective for some, but there is strong evidence suggesting that a mindfulness based approach to addiction recovery is especially effective. 

Mindful recovery in addiction is based on a holistic approach including overcoming the patterns of behavior we experience. The goal is about developing resources you can use that will help you manage cravings, stress, emotional challenges, and everyday difficulties. With this, mindfulness serves to support long-term sobriety and overall well-being. 

An especially helpful aspect of mindful recovery in addiction is the skill of acceptance that you will learn to incorporate. Accepting our thoughts and feelings in the present moment is vital for change. Therefore, you lessen the strong desire to escape discomfort through the comfort of your addiction. These practices help us to learn and observe our desires without acting on them, because we can understand that they are not permanent and will eventually pass. 

Mindful Recovery Based Treatment at Centered Recovery:

Centered utilizes a mindful recovery based program, which has been proven to provide lasting results following treatment. Mindful recovery based therapies focus on teaching skills that allow you to be more aware of the present moment. Additionally, these techniques serve to help you feel more acceptance towards experiences you have encountered. The goal of mindful recovery is to foster a non-judgmental attitude towards thoughts, emotions, or sensations you may be feeling and experiencing.

At Centered Recovery, we utilize holistic methods to improve mental, emotional, and physical functioning through the use of mindfulness-based recovery practices. Here, you will be exposed to various practices such as meditation, sound therapy, art therapy, breathwork, yoga, and more! These practices allow you to approach yourself with more compassion and understanding! Ultimately, this is a key component in the success of your recovery journey. At Centered, you will experience a structured, professionally led program that revolves around accountability and connection with others. 

No one has ever felt relief by being overly critical of themselves as they go through a difficult season. Our holistic approach focuses on guiding you towards a more emotionally and mentally healthy space that is necessary for long-term healing. Our programs helps you to  understand how your patterns of behavior are formed. Ultimately, this knowledge will lead you on the path to to effectively move past them.

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Contact Centered Recovery Programs Today

Now that you know all about our guided program for recovery, contact us to get started! Centered Recovery Programs, located in the heart of Roswell, Georgia, is a mindfulness-based outpatient drug and alcohol rehab treatment program. When choosing the best drug and alcohol treatment program, keeping all these different aspects in mind is essential. Our staff will always tailor your treatment to your needs and goals for the future! 

Whether you prefer to attend treatment in person or need virtual telehealth services, we can help! Centered Recovery has been providing meaningful, quality care to Georgia residents since 2017, and we have the most Google Reviews of any treatment provider in the state–all five stars!

If you have been considering a guided alcohol and drug rehab, or you have been struggling with mild mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, overwhelming stress, or burnout issues, and would like to understand the difference that a mindfulness-based program can make, please give us a call at 800-556-2966 to speak to one of our Admissions Team counselors today!

Written by Sydney Christiansen, Clinical Intern