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How to Stay Present in Addiction Recovery

By on Feb 6, 2024 in Blog

Addiction recovery is a long process filled with a lot of bright spots. It can be empowering to know you can make a decision about what you will do this weekend without thinking about substances. It can be even better when you accomplish health goals or personal objectives, knowing you did it because you are sober.

The road to recovery will likely have a few bumps in it, times when doubt, frustration, and fear seem to take control. In addiction recovery, the goal is not to ignore those feelings but to acknowledge them and then move on in a positive manner. To do that, you need to work to remain present throughout addiction recovery. 

What Does Being Present Really Mean?

Though people speak often about “being present,” even in situations that have nothing to do with addiction, it’s critical to understand how this concept relates to addiction recovery.

Being present, or being mindful, means focusing on what’s going on in and around you at any given moment. You will learn some of these skills in addiction treatment in Lafayette, LA, with our team. The goal of mindfulness is to remain in a state of awareness. Here are several things to know about that:

  • Mindfulness is not a new age type of gimmick. It’s a practice used for thousands of years to help people focus on what’s occurring so they can make better decisions.
  • Being present can be achieved by using various techniques to increase focus and concentration. 
  • The goal of mindfulness is to move you from a place of stress, worry, or overwhelming emotions to a place where you can feel calm and make better decisions. It keeps you in control over your actions.

Understanding the Concepts of Mindfulness

Of the multiple components to mindfulness, you’ll need to focus particularly on two things:

  • Awareness of your thoughts, emotions, and sensations and what is happening around you.
  • Accepting whatever you are experiencing without judgment. 

Let’s consider an example. Numerous people are making various demands for your time and attention. You have a stack of things to do. It’s easy to start to feel the anxiety build. Maybe it starts as “I have to do all of this right now,” then becomes “This is so overwhelming, and I cannot do it,” and ends as “I give up. I’m stupid/lazy/not good enough.”

Instead of attaching to these negative thoughts, the goal of mindfulness is to recognize the frustration you’re feeling and then change focus. Instead of “I’m so overwhelmed with all I have to do right now,” you might think, “Okay, this is what I can do now and what I need to focus on first,” or “I can do this one piece at a time and ask for help.”

The Benefits of Learning to Be Present

Mindfulness can be applied to much more than just addictive behaviors. Take a look at some of the benefits that come from being present:

  • It allows you to remain in control. When you recognize what is occurring and take action to control your thought patterns, you remain in control of your attitudes and actions. 
  • Mindfulness allows you to build your confidence and self-esteem. It helps you to turn negative thoughts into optimism. That’s good for improving your quality of life.
  • It can also help you to achieve more. If you are constantly focused on what is wrong, you’re not focusing on a solution to improve the situation.

Studies indicate that the use of mindfulness can help to reduce the risk of addiction relapse. Consider that if you practice this method, you may be able to see significant improvement in your ability to remain sober and on the path to the future you desire.

Tips for Practicing Mindfulness

There are various ways to remain mindful. You’ll learn some of them in our residential treatment center in Lafayette. Here’s a quick look at what you can do today:

  • Learn how to meditate. This is one of the most effective ways to control negative thought patterns that may be overreaching throughout your day.
  • Focus on breathing. During those tough moments, you may be able to gain a bit more focus and control by breathing deeply to calm your heart rate. Focus on your breathing and not your thoughts.
  • Exercise. A workout at the gym or a run through a park helps to burn stress hormones, which can help to provide more clarity to you.

Know That This Is Just One Part of a Bigger Picture

Mindfulness is a powerful tool, but it is just one part of a bigger treatment plan for drug and alcohol addiction treatment. At Victory Addiction Recovery Center, we will create an individualized treatment plan to address your needs and help you regain control. All you have to do is to reach out to us. Contact our drug and alcohol treatment center in Lafayette, LA, now for help.

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