How Does Mindfulness in Recovery Support the Process?

How Does Mindfulness in Recovery Support the Process?

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Healing is a long process in recovery, and clients often struggle with finding the right path to healing. No one client is the same and everyone’s journey is unique. Nevertheless, in recovery, it is helpful for most people to connect with their inner being in order to gain a full understanding of themselves. Inner understanding allows people to be self-directed and advocate for themselves during their recovery. Mindfulness in recovery is beneficial for clients who want to gain this deeper understanding as they embark on their healing journies. At First Steps Recovery, the staff promotes mindfulness in recovery through a multitude of client support services.

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness originated in the Buddhist meditation tradition. The practice involves bringing a person’s focus into the present moment. Those practicing mindfulness become more aware of what is going on inside of themselves, including their thoughts and feelings. Those who practice mindfulness also become more aware of the surrounding environment at that moment. Clients practicing mindfulness learn to observe the environment and their own being without judgment. They learn to engage with the present moment more gently and kindly

Practicing mindfulness can reduce anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, assist with pain management, and improve eating habits. Mindfulness improves the overall quality of one’s life. Because of these known benefits, facilities have begun to integrate mindfulness-based therapies into their treatment plans and offerings.

Bringing mindfulness into a person’s life helps them experience life more fully. Rather than letting life pass by while being on “autopilot,” those who practice mindfulness learn to observe life experiences unfold. They learn to be grounded in the present moment without judgment.

How to Practice Mindfulness on Your Own

Practicing mindfulness can be done in several ways. The most well-known practice is seated meditation in a quiet space. In this setting, one focuses on breathing and bodily sensations. If the mind begins to wander, a person will work on returning the mind to the present moment.

Another way to practice mindfulness is using a body scan meditation. Body scan meditation allows one to observe how their body is feeling in the moment from head to toe.

Mindfulness can also be practiced through breathwork. A person can learn to observe the breath and use various breathing techniques to promote calm.

Why Is Mindfulness in Recovery Important?

Mindfulness in recovery is important because substance or alcohol use disorders often dysregulate the nervous system. Clients sometimes experience anxiety, depression, or other types of mental health symptoms because of their substance use disorder (SUD).

The recovery journey is not exclusive to “curing” symptoms of SUDs. Instead, recovery is about a whole-person healing process. Healing involves all aspects of the client – their SUD or alcohol use disorder (AUD), their mental well-being, and their physical well-being.

Mindfulness in Long-Term Recovery

Mindfulness techniques are frequently used to treat mental health disorders such as stress-related disorders and trauma-related disorders. This approach also aids clients with relapse prevention. Mindfulness creates a healthier and happier lifestyle for clients starting from within. Using mindfulness in recovery is also significant because it helps clients form a different lifestyle and offers them techniques to use outside of recovery.

Clients often leave their treatment program and do not know the next steps to take in recovery. Mindfulness provides healthy coping mechanisms for clients to continue using post-treatment. This strengthens long-term sobriety.

How Does First Steps Recovery Promote Mindfulness in Recovery?

At First Steps Recovery, mindfulness techniques are incorporated into clients’ treatment plans. While every client and SUD is different and should be treated uniquely, bringing mindfulness and developing a sense of self are key components of the healing process. First Steps Recovery focuses on a whole-person healing approach to addiction treatment. The staff also believes in providing long-term treatment, and mindfulness in recovery is a tool that can be used for the rest of clients’ lives. By implementing mindfulness, clients develop a stronger sense of self and a better understanding of their addiction and mental-emotional well-being.

Incorporating Mindfulness in Holistic and Clinical Care

The mindfulness approach begins with holistic care. First Steps Recovery offers several holistic services that focus on the client remaining in the present moment and grounding themselves. For example, one offering is yoga therapy. In this therapy, clients practice controlled breathing and controlled body movements. Bringing this control into one’s physical body allows one to experience mental and emotional control and regulation.

The results that people achieve when using holistic therapies are then incorporated into clinical approaches. Clients work on strengthening this inner understanding, mental-emotional regulation, and grounding in the present moment. They also use their skills in individual and group therapies.

Creating a new way of life that is healthier and not dependent on substances takes effort. Finding these healthy, grounding coping mechanisms is crucial to the recovery process. Clients learn what does and does not work for them. Through all of these approaches, clients ultimately learn how to navigate life without drugs or alcohol.

Here at First Steps Recovery, we promote mindfulness in recovery in order to support your long-term recovery and healing journey. Recovery is not structured around addiction exclusively. Rather, recovery is about healing the whole person and creating a healthier, happier lifestyle that is not dependent on drugs or alcohol. At our facility, holistic care is offered to help bring more mindful practices into your life. Mindfulness can be practiced on your own time outside of treatment as well, providing you with guidance as you transition out of treatment. These practices work to ground you in the present moment, understand yourself better, and improve your mental and emotional well-being. Please call us at (844) 489-0836 to learn more. 

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