man outside looking up and practicing mindfullness

Addiction recovery is when someone suffering from addiction goes through a treatment program and is now practicing a sober lifestyle. Addiction recovery can also be described as a process of improved physical, psychological, and social well-being and health after suffering from an addiction.

Continued recovery is not a guaranteed outcome for anyone, though. In fact, 40-60% of people in recovery will experience a relapse in their recovery at some point. This does not mean that it’s the end of the road to a sober life. Even though getting back on the recovery path will take some work, it can definitely be done successfully using many different methods.

Understanding Mindfulness

The Oxford Dictionary defines mindfulness as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” 

There are 7 key attitudes of mindfulness. They include Non-Judging, Patience, Remaining Open and Curious, Trust, Non-Striving, Acceptance, and Letting Go. There are several ways to practice mindfulness, and the key is finding the ones that work best for you. 

What Mindfulness Techniques Are Useful in Recovery?

Almost any mindfulness practice would be useful in addiction recovery. The techniques you choose to use would depend on exactly what you are trying to achieve. 

Examples of Techniques to Do Alone or With a Small Group

The Body Scan– The body scan is a mindfulness-based stress reduction technique. . It is to reconnect with your physical body to notice any feelings without judgment. Allow them to pass and tell yourself “I love myself”. 

Five Senses Exercise– An unwinding technique used for grounding. You will take a moment to notice and say aloud (if you can)  5 things you can smell, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can see, and 1 thing you can taste. This is helpful for when you feel out of control, or have any amount of anxiety.

The Self Compassion Pause– A way to self-regulate by returning to your center after something unexpected happens. The self-compassion pause is meant to help bring back positive emotions. You can practice this by:

  • Breathing in through your nose for a count of 4, repeating to yourself “I have done my best”
  • Hold your breath for a count of 5
  • Breathe out for a count of 6 repeating to yourself “Now, let go of the rest”
  • Repeat 2 to 3 times

3 Minute Breathing– This is a mini meditation with the purpose of stepping out of your normal habits and reconnecting with your present momentary experiences. This is especially helpful in a stressful moment where feelings of chaos arise. 

You can start by bringing awareness to your posture, and sitting up in a tall position. 

  1. Ask yourself “What is my experience right now?  Explore your thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. Acknowledge and register your experience. 
  2. Gently redirect your full attention to your breathing. Each in-breath and each out-breath as they follow each other. It will anchor you to the present and help tune you into a state of awareness.
  3. Expand the field of your awareness to include your body as a whole. Experience your posture, facial expressions, and sense of self. 

Mindful Walking– This is an exercise that is meant to bring awareness to your surroundings and how your body and mind feel while moving. It can be done in just a few minutes, anywhere you’d like. 

Meditation– Meant to give you a sense of calm, balance, and peace, meditation is one of the oldest forms of mindfulness. It can be used to relax, and cope with stress by focusing attention on something calming. You can learn to stay centered when everything around you is out of your control. 

Yoga– A mind-body practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. Yoga is the perfect example of working feelings out through movement. This meditative practice can be done at home, in a studio, outside, or virtually anywhere you have a few feet of space to move around comfortably. 

Example of Techniques Used in Therapy

Effective Dialectical Behavioral Therapy  DBT is a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.  This modified version of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is meant to teach people how to live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, and improve relationships with others. 

Finding the Time for Mindfulness

Finding the time for mindfulness can seem like a chore if you already lead a busy life. But, the great thing about mindfulness is that you can practice it anytime. Sitting at your desk at work, you can do the 3-minute breathing. On your way into the grocery store, you can practice mindful walking. You can even work yoga into your daily routine by using it to stretch when you get out of bed. 

Having mindfulness be a part of your everyday life can be hugely beneficial to staying on the path to recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction. Using ways to self-regulate your emotions, cope with disappointments, and ease yourself out of anxiety can prevent a relapse from happening. 

Do I Still Need a Recovery Plan if I am Practicing Mindfulness?

Even though you are using mindfulness-based interventions in your daily life, a recovery plan is still necessary. A recovery plan usually consists of having a sponsor, going to meetings, and participating in therapies, or groups. It can also include things like mindfulness practices, exercising, specified diets, and a list of people, places, and things to avoid. Mindfulness is never meant to replace a recovery plan, but to add to its effectiveness.

Holistic Healing at Miracles Recovery Center

If you are looking for a treatment program that includes practices like mindfulness, Miracles Recovery Center in Port St. Lucie, FL would be a fantastic choice for you. Our holistic healing approach is highly effective in treating addictions and mental health diagnoses. Using a holistic approach to addiction treatment means we treat the entire body and mind, instead of focusing on just one issue. The path to recovery looks different for everyone, but you are a miracle, and you are worth it.