The Ultimate Guide For Mindfulness Therapy

Addiction recovery is no easy task and many people who try to quit have ended up in their old, self-destructive habits. Sometimes, it can feel hopeless. The good news is, no patient has to do it alone. Recovery is possible, but it takes an all-encompassing approach that includes the involvement of a professional who understands the full scope of addiction and how it functions.

When addressing an addiction, counselling, medication, and techniques, including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, come into play. Mindfulness therapy is an approach to psychotherapy that has been proven to be a great tool for those who want to quit substance abuse or alcohol. Herewith is a simple guide to mindfulness that will help anyone struggling with addiction to make informed choices towards recovery.

Introduction to Mindfulness Therapy

The practice of mindfulness has traditionally been incorporated into meditation to cultivate a state of focused awareness. Mindfulness, defined as the ability to pay attention to the present moment without judgement, can help anyone overcome the difficulties in dealing with addictions and other psychological and behavioural disorders. As one integral part of cognitive behavioural therapy, this concept has recently gained popularity.

In other words, a patient who practices mindfulness to deal with addiction evaluates the situation from a bird’s eye view or a third-person perspective. This means that the individual studies calm acknowledges feelings, thoughts, and even sensations without being personal about them. Effectively incorporating mindfulness into one’s lifestyle hinges around one’s comprehensive understanding of the concept.

It is through the practical knowledge of this technique that its therapeutic power is maximized. Mindfulness can have an impact on all aspects of one’s life, including dieting. As an example, when eating, one observes how the body responds to the food. This is a fully present awareness.

The other way to say this would be, “if a person cannot sense the present, it is unlikely that they will be able to enjoy such a moment.” A good coach helps people build a mindfulness practice so they’ll be able to work on positive changes in themselves, as they pursue their goals. It will be possible to quickly identify negative habits and work on them as they arise.

However, this technique doesn’t come cheap as the factor of self-discipline is a big part of the process. It implies that in the early stages, one must follow through with practice. If a person isn’t interested in practising mindfulness, likely, they won’t accomplish their goal.

Dealing with Addiction through Mindfulness

An addict may not think of this technique as a possible cure for their addiction due to its simplicity. However, underneath that layer lies the essence of willpower. Understanding this will create a desire to maintain a commitment to change, taking note of habits, actions, and choices. To ease the process, a patient must note that it gets easier when taking specific steps one at a time.

During this period, there is a need to eradicate mental clutters, some of which are cues or potential addiction triggers, in the form of thoughts and impulses. When the mind is still, its powers of discernment are improved. This helps focus on what needs to be done, reducing distractions. The individual can work towards changing unhealthy habits, rather than letting them dominate their thoughts or decision making.

The better a patient possesses a constructive mindset, the easier it will be to build a mindful practice, something that can be the basis of effective addiction recovery. In some cases, addictions stem from the desire to get rid of mental clutters. People with this struggle resort to alcohol, opiates, and other hard substances to clear their heads. But then, over time, overdependency sets in, depriving them of a healthy lifestyle.

The solution to mental chatters is mindfulness therapy. It is highly effective, with no side effects, compared to substances with addictive properties. It opens up the path to experience sensory pleasure and calmness, there were once absent. Life becomes more meaningful and enjoyable again. It becomes easier to let go of unhealthy events that would have otherwise triggered destructive responses.

Another feature of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is the ability to go through events or activities, automatically processing them with less or no mental effort. This is known as automaticity. Likewise, the individual exhibits loving-kindness. There is no criticism or disappointment.

The Mindfulness Process

The goal of mindfulness therapy is to provide an experience that will facilitate change, which is summarized as follows:

Step 1: Observation

This is the first step to the mindful process. It centres on becoming aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, and environment. It is an essential step because it prevents emotional involvement in one’s attentiveness to internal and external sensations.

Step 2: Description

During this phase, the patient interprets observations, surrounding information and reality, and also detailed experiences.

Step 3: Participation

Here, the patient unconsciously engages in the recorded activities.

Step 4: Acceptance

The patient embraces the activity and its results, accepting what happens and what could happen. It requires an increase in one’s ability to feel comfortable and free from distress and judgements.

Step 5: Focus

Observations and interactions centre on one thing at a time. There are no clutters getting in the way.

Step 6: Effectiveness

This process involves making the right decision on the situation. There is no doubt or second-guessing.

Avoiding Relapse

There is a tendency for patients who undergo mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to relapse on their treatment, especially given the fact that it is a medication-free approach. Generally, people often find it difficult to stay consistent, whether it is a new diet plan, or exercise, or even the decision to overcome an unhealthy habit.

In the case of addiction treatment through mindfulness therapy, mindfulness-based relapse prevention provides a lasting solution. With this technique, patients can become more aware of cravings, urges, and other triggers. They can easily accept events, make constructive decisions, and stay dedicated to the cause. Plus, they become more aware of their thoughts and strive to live healthily.

During mindfulness-based relapse prevention, patients embrace automaticity, which prevents their minds from getting cluttered with thoughts. Additionally, social support can help improve one’s dedication and fast track the recovery process.

The Bottom Line

Recovery from addiction can be challenging, but it is possible with the right approach. For most people who want to break unhealthy habits, the solution can begin with the simple step of being aware of the present moment, which is the essence of mindfulness therapy.

Rachel Bartee

Rachel Bartee is a blogger and freelance writer dreaming of a tour round the world to write a story of her greatest life adventure. For the time being, she feels inspired by her daily yoga sessions and studies Interpersonal Relationships.