The Drug Class Blog

Feb 11

Be Mindful and Mind Full


 Thank you to Vivian C for the article

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a concept that originated with Buddhist meditation, but in recent years has been adapted as a secular approach to helping people with mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and depression. There are three main components to mindfulness:

  1. Mindfulness is intentional. The subject makes a conscious effort to be aware of what they are experiencing in the moment, including thoughts and feelings.

  2. Mindfulness, like some other approaches to addiction recovery, stresses acceptance. The subject can't deny what they are feeling in the moment.

  3. Mindfulness is non-judgmental. In the same way that the subject can't deny what they're feeling, they also can't be self-critical (or self-congratulatory) about it.

The process is designed to help the subject learn to recognize their thought patterns and feelings, and eventually develop skills to regulate them. It also helps the patient learn not to avoid what they are experiencing. Avoiding experiences has been linked to many emotional and mental health difficulties, including addiction.

Mindfulness in Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery

At, we know there are many different approaches to helping people in recovery stay sober. Many of the experts we've interviewed recommend addicts learn to recognize things that trigger their desire to drink or use drugs, so they can create a strategy for dealing with them. So we wanted to know: Can mindfulness help?

Mindfulness is recommended for anyone who wants to reduce stress, relax, and improve their quality of life. Reducing stress can help with symptoms of anxiety and depression, which can contribute to substance use issues. For people in recovery from a drug or alcohol problem, mindfulness can be particularly useful, as it helps the person focus on what they are thinking and feeling when the desire to drink or use arises. Once a subject recognizes patterns of thoughts or feelings that trigger the urge, they can work on coping mechanisms to deal with these thoughts or feelings in a healthier way.

Mindfulness can also be combined with other approaches to recovery. Addicts who are engaged in one-on-one therapy may use mindfulness to uncover patterns of thoughts or feelings they might want to discuss with their therapist. 12-step meetings may be helpful for those who want to share what they're feeling in the moment with others who have similar struggles. Meetings or peer groups are often useful for people whose mindfulness journey reveals a pattern of feeling lonely or isolated when the desire to drink or use arises.

Mindfulness can help reduce stress and anxiety, and increase self-observation and positivity. Additionally, it helps improve self-control and reduce impulsiveness, which is always helpful for those struggling to overcome an addiction.

How Do You Begin Mindfulness?

There are many books that teach mindfulness and meditation. One common method that's easy for beginners is to spend a few minutes sitting and focusing on your breathing. While doing this, you shouldn't try to make anything happen—just open yourself up to being aware of what you're experiencing. Notice as you inhale and exhale. Don't judge your thoughts, and if you get distracted, just focus back on your breathing. It's recommended you start by doing this for five minutes a day, then work your way up to twenty. You can also practice being mindful when walking, by slowing down and focusing on each step.





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