September 6th, 2023
Harnessing the power of self-awareness through mindfulness can play a pivotal role in overcoming addiction. Mindfulness-based treatment, a major component of our recovery programmes at Oasis Runcorn, aids in creating a balanced path during detox, rehab and aftercare. Mindfulness therapy can help improve every aspect of your mental and emotional health and well-being, empower you to gain control over your cravings and reduce the possibility of reverting to harmful behaviours.
Understanding the core principles of mindfulness therapy
Mindfulness is like turning up the volume on your awareness. It is about being totally present in the here and now, not worrying about the past or the future or judging or criticising what you are thinking or feeling.
Think of it this way: your thoughts and feelings are like clouds passing by in the sky. You can observe them, but you are not those clouds. You are the sky. While this may sound a little “new age”, this realisation can help you manage your thoughts and feelings more effectively instead of letting them control you.
Mindfulness therapy uses this idea to help people overcome various issues like anxiety, depression, chronic pain and, crucially, addiction. When you regularly practise mindfulness, you become more tuned into your thoughts and emotions and can recognise those that could lead you to make poor decisions or act impulsively.
Mindfulness teaches you to pause and take a breath when you are in a tough spot. It gives you the chance to let go of negative thoughts rather than acting on them straight away. Instead of following harmful patterns like substance abuse, you have the space to choose a healthier, more positive action. This power to choose differently is one of the main benefits of mindfulness.
How does mindfulness for addiction recovery work?
In the context of addiction recovery, mindfulness-based treatments aid individuals in managing their cravings, resisting the allure of temptation, and handling the emotional factors that may have led to their addictive behaviours. It can be incorporated into both individual and group therapy sessions or can be a part of a self-guided programme.
Integrating mindfulness therapy into rehab treatment can enable you to:
- Develop an acute awareness of your emotional state, especially during challenging times or when faced with triggers
- Manage cravings and impulses
- Stay grounded in the present
- Prevent relapse by resisting temptation
- Address emotional issues that may have led to dependency
It is important to know that addiction isn’t just about needing a substance physically. It often involves hard-to-deal-with feelings or mental health problems that have been around for a long time. These problems need to be recognised and handled well to really beat dependency for good.
When you are caught in the cycle of dependency, you often feel a very strong urge or desire for something, even when it doesn’t make sense or is harmful. It is like your brain is on autopilot, and it can be incredibly hard to think straight or make good choices.
This is where mindfulness therapy can really help. It gives you a tool to manage these strong desires or urges. By helping you stay in the present and really pay attention to what is happening, you can start to break free from these automatic, harmful patterns.
What happens during a mindfulness therapy session?
In a mindfulness therapy session, your therapist is your guide, helping you to anchor your attention in the here and now. This might involve focusing on your breath, noticing how your body feels or simply observing your thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad. Your therapist will also share tips and techniques on how to bring mindfulness into your everyday life so you can keep practising even outside of your therapy sessions while you are going through aftercare and in your future life.
There are two main types of mindfulness for addiction that are employed at Oasis Runcorn:
Mindfulness-based dialectical behavioural therapy (MBDBT)
This type of therapy is all about changing the way you think about your thoughts and feelings and how they impact your actions. It blends mindfulness exercises with dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), a type of therapy that is designed to help you identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
MBSR helps you manage stress and anxiety, which often play a big role in substance dependency and addictive behaviours. It uses a range of techniques, including mindfulness meditation, yoga and body scanning. The body scan technique involves lying down and focusing on each part of your body, in turn, noticing any sensations you feel without judging them. This increased awareness of what’s happening in your body can help you manage cravings and urges as you recover from addiction.
Begin mindfulness therapy at Oasis Runcorn
If you are interested in the potential of mindfulness in aiding your journey to recovery, don’t hesitate to reach out to Oasis Runcorn. Our dedicated admissions team is available to answer your queries about mindfulness therapy, and other rehab therapy approaches in our diverse treatment programmes. We can discuss how mindfulness therapy can support your path to sustained sobriety and help you get started. Contact us today.