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Mindfulness in Addiction Recovery

Mindfulness In Addiction Recovery

Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can be used in addiction recovery. Find out how to practice mindfulness here.

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a practice that can be used in addiction recovery to increase awareness and acceptance of thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. It can help you focus on the present moment and manage difficult emotions. Mindfulness may also improve your ability to cope with cravings and stay abstinent from drugs or alcohol. Read on to learn more about mindfulness and how it can help you recover from addiction.

Mindfulness is a secular practice with roots in Buddhist meditation. Mindfulness therapy typically involves acceptance, paying attention to your thoughts and feelings, and tuning into the present moment.

Mindfulness Definition

Mindfulness can be defined as “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.” 

Mindfulness Vs. Meditation

You may be wondering, what’s the difference between mindfulness and meditation? In contrast to mindfulness practices, meditation is “the act of giving your attention to only one thing, either as a religious activity or as a way of becoming calm and relaxed.”2

Mindfulness Applications

Mindfulness exercises are best applied in one’s everyday life. When practicing mindfulness activities, it can be helpful to set a regular time or try something new to experience life in a different way. For example, some people dedicate their lunch break to practicing mindful meditation. Mindfulness meditation is helpful during exercise, therapy, healing, counseling, and everyday life.3

How To Practice Mindfulness?

If you’re interested in practicing mindfulness, starting small is essential. For example, you may consider dedicating five minutes to your mindfulness practice each morning or before bed. While practicing mindfulness healing, remember to notice when your mind wanders and bring your attention back to your mindfulness meditation practice. As with any skill, it takes time to learn how to be mindful. Do your best not to become frustrated or angry throughout the learning process.4

Basic Mindfulness Exercises

It can be easy to get caught up in the complexities when choosing mindfulness exercises. Try starting small with some of the following mindfulness exercise ideas. First, you could try taking three long breaths and setting your intentions for the day upon waking up. You can also practice basic mindfulness activities during meal times. Throughout your meal, practice breathing before you begin eating, listening to your body’s hunger cues, and eating without interruption. Basic mindfulness exercises can be used while exercising, driving, or working.

Mindfulness In Addiction Recovery

Mindfulness-based addiction treatment (MBAT) is helpful in the treatment of nicotine dependence and other substance use disorders, including alcohol use disorders. The following sections will explore mindfulness in recovery.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness based stress reduction or MBSR is a prominent treatment for addiction and recovery. MBSR is often used for disorders involving stress, pain, depression, and anxiety. Additionally, MBSR can be used to treat eating, mental health, and substance use disorders

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an evidence-based treatment modality used in addiction treatment programs. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can be used to prevent relapse and treat depression. 

Mindfulness-Based Pain Management

Mindfulness-based pain management is used to address pain’s cognitive, sensory, and affective factors. Studies have found that mindful meditation can be applied to pain reduction. Mindfulness based therapy for pain is an excellent alternative to pharmacological approaches involving opiates.6

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an approach used in psychotherapy to teach individuals how to accept their inner feelings and emotions. Mindfulness meditation is a critical component of the ACT model.7

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) stems from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Both DBT and CBT incorporate practices of mindful meditation. DBT involves accepting oneself and recognizing the need for change and personal growth.

Other Programs

Mindfulness in recovery plays a vital role in addiction, relapse prevention, mental health treatment, and healing. Recent studies have shown that mindfulness based therapy is a practical treatment approach for substance use disorders. 

Benefits of Mindfulness In Addiction Recovery

Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) offer many benefits when it comes to treating addiction. Mindfulness in recovery can reduce emotional distress, cultivate lasting behavioral change, and increase the likelihood of positive clinical outcomes. For many individuals, having mindfulness in their recovery toolbox makes a world of difference.

Why Is Mindfulness Important In Recovery?

Mindful meditation can help individuals self-monitor symptoms, address cravings, and learn how to positively adapt to the urge to use drugs or alcohol. A mindfulness practice is especially important during triggering situations or when dealing with cravings to use.

What Are The Effects of Mindfulness?

Mindfulness in recovery leads to reduced rumination, stress reduction, boosts to working memory, improved focus, less emotional reactivity, more cognitive flexibility, and better relationship satisfaction. There are many positive effects associated with mindfulness.
Positive Effects of Mindfulness in Recovery

Mindfulness and Other Addiction Therapies At Alta Centers

If you’re interested in mindfulness healing for addiction, Alta Centers is the premier substance abuse treatment program in Los Angeles, California. Alta Centers provides patient-centered, individualized recovery programs to help clients achieve lasting recovery. At Alta Centers, there is a strong focus on leading an active lifestyle. The Alta Centers team believes that recovery is the start of something new and exciting. 

Mindfulness-Based Interventions

The knowledgeable team at Alta Centers recognizes the immense benefits of mindfulness-based interventions. To help clients overcome addiction, clinicians utilize mindfulness therapy, including mindfulness-based relapse prevention. Alta Centers also uses CBT, DBT, and trauma-informed care approaches. 

Other Addiction Rehab Programs

In addition to mindfulness counseling, Alta Centers offers top-notch inpatient rehabilitation, detoxification, and individual therapy. Whether you or someone you care about needs withdrawal management, inpatient care, outpatient therapy, or long-term individual counseling, Alta Centers is the leading addiction treatment provider.

Get in Touch With Us

To learn more about mindfulness for depression, addiction, and other behavioral health disorders, contact our friendly concierge team today!

Questions About Treatment?

Our knowledgeable team is ready to discuss your situation and options. Your call is confidential with no obligation required.

Questions About Treatment?

Our knowledgeable team is ready to discuss your situation and options. Your call is confidential with no obligation required.

What is an Intervention?

In a situation involving substance use disorder, planning an intervention may be the best, and safest, option to help someone who is living with an addiction. So, what does intervention mean? An intervention is a strategically planned process of confronting the person who is living with addiction about the consequences of their actions while simultaneously encouraging them to accept help and treatment for their addiction.1

The key feature of an intercession is that while it can be an immensely helpful option in convincing a person that they should seek treatment, it should not be done solely by friends and family members. Without the aid of a specialist, or someone who is equally trained in the process of interventions, an intervention may do more harm than good.

An intervention specialist is someone that has been professionally trained in helping people break free from their addictions. They can help a person without judgment, emotions, or blame to understand how their actions are negatively impacting themselves and those that they care about.

When performed properly, without judgment or pressure, and with the aid of a qualified intercession specialist, 80-90% of substance use interventions are successful in convincing the patient to seek help.

Early Intervention

Treatment is more effective the earlier that it begins for an alcohol or drug abuse disorder. As with any other health condition, early intervention and treatment can prevent more significant problems further on in life.

Unfortunately, in many cases, an alcohol addiction intervention or a drug abuse intercession does not take place until most other options have been exhausted. It can be difficult for those struggling with a substance use disorder to realize or admit that they need help.

It often takes a life-altering event, such as a divorce, loss of employment, or a housing crisis for a person to be willing to seek treatment. Because early
alcohol and drug intercession can be so beneficial, first responders must be able to recognize the symptoms of substance abuse.3

What is a Nursing Intervention?

Nursing interventions are often the first time a patient will experience care for their disorder. It takes place when someone enters a care facility such as a clinic or hospital for a condition that may or may not be caused or exacerbated by their substance use disorder.

After initial evaluation and stabilization, a nurse will take action to help their patient by suggesting healthy physical or emotional coping mechanisms for a patient that wants to quit using the substance that they are addicted to. The nurse will also be able to offer education and information to the patient about other treatment facilities or care providers that can help them on their road to recovery.

Alcohol Intervention

A Further Look at Interventions

Nearly 50% of adults in America regularly drink alcohol, and it is believed that as many as 25% of those Americans have an alcohol addiction, most commonly in the form of binge drinking. In many situations, once a person with an alcohol use disorder realizes the way that alcohol is negatively impacting their life, they can reduce the amount that they drink, or even quit entirely, without outside assistance.

However, some people that have an alcohol use disorder are unable to see how their addiction is negatively affecting them. In this situation, an alcohol use intercession can be extremely beneficial. Some of the benefits of interventions include:

Drug Intervention

A Further Look at Interventions

Over nineteen million adults struggle with a drug abuse disorder and of those, nearly 74% also struggle with a co-existing alcohol abuse disorder. Drug abuse and addiction can be a much harder disorder to recover from than alcohol addiction, particularly due to the high rate of co-use that most people with a substance use disorder experience.

In many cases, suddenly stopping the use of an illicit substance can be just as harmful, if not more so than using the substance itself. The side effects and withdrawal symptoms that a person may experience when they decide to stop using a substance can be severe and at times life-threatening.

Luckily, substance use is a highly treatable disorder and several medications can help a person wean off of illicit substances in a safe, sustained, and monitored manner. A drug abuse intervention can help someone realize that they have options and that they can recover safely and healthily.

Questions About Treatment?

Our knowledgeable team is ready to discuss your situation and options. Your call is confidential with no obligation required.