You’ve recognized the need to recover. You’ve made it through detox. You’re both excited and probably a little bit intimidated about what lies ahead. Sober living can be scary, especially if you’ve been using long enough that most or all of your social network and lifestyle has some connection with the substance you’ve been abusing. But there’s a secret weapon you can add to your toolbox of skills to prevent from relapsing and it’s called mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a meditative practice people can use to be aware of our bodies and minds. I know that can seem cheesy and all new-agey, but there is a lot of scientific research into the benefits of the practice. At its simplest, mindfulness is a set of techniques a person can use to check in with their own feelings, to be aware of what they are experiencing. This is important because it helps us identify triggers and feelings of discomfort which can often result in relapse and returning to negative coping mechanisms.
How to Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is being aware of your feelings. With practice, this can become something you can actively practice throughout your day. Particularly when you are beginning, it’s good to start with meditation. There are many free guides and videos to how to to practice mindfulness which we encourage you to look up, so here will just be a quick primer.
The first, and often hardest part for many of us is finding a quiet time and place where we can practice. We recommend thinking of this as exercise for your mind and trying to build a habit around it the same way you would exercise your body. Sit comfortably. You can close your eyes or keep them open if you want. As you sit, take some moments to explore your body with your mind. Feel your feet or legs on the floor. Think about how your shoulders or neck feels. Try to be aware of any pain or tension you feel as you think about each part of your body.
Meditation can be frustrating for many people because you will find many thoughts popping into your head that are outside of what you’re trying to think about. This is totally normal, and learning how to calmly dismiss those thoughts are much of what meditation is all about. Simply recognize that you’ve had that thought and move on.
To learn more about mindfulness and other mental health rehab services in New Jersey that you can use in your recovery, call us now at 844-478-6563.