You may have heard of mindfulness training, but you may not be sure what’s involved. Although mindfulness is just recently popping up in everyday conversation, it’s a practice that has been around for years. Mindfulness stems back from thousand-year-old Buddhist traditions. Millions of people practice mindfulness, but Driftwood Recovery knows it helps people down the road to sobriety.
What is Mindfulness Training?
Jon-Kabat Zinn is known as the person who brought mindfulness to the United States. Traditionally an Eastern-based practice, people had been skeptical about its effectiveness, but he showed its relevance. Zinn created Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which proved to help people with chronic pain. At its core, mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, in the moment and without judgment.
Unlike traditional meditation, mindfulness training covers a variety of disciplines. When people think of meditation, they often think of someone sitting cross-legged with his or her eyes closed. With mindfulness, you can do this type of formal practice, or you can do it while walking, cooking, cleaning, or even driving. For individuals recovering from an addiction, it helps them cope with triggers whenever they come up.
Mindfulness Training Improves Three Skills
Known as a famous mindfulness teacher in the United States, Shinzen Young states that mindfulness improves the following three skills:
- Concentration power
- Sensory clarity
Concentration is a skill that needs to be developed, and mindfulness helps your brain learn to focus. This is extremely beneficial for anyone who has a mind that likes to drift off or have thoughts of the future or past. Sensory clarity is the ability to start separating your cognitive brain from your physical experiences. Equanimity is about learning to find balance in your emotions rather than looking at them as good or bad.
The Evidence Behind Mindfulness Training
The primary reason that Driftwood Recovery uses mindfulness in our addiction treatment programs is because it’s backed by science. Over the last few decades, many scientists have been looking into mindfulness’ effects on the brain. Perhaps most importantly, mindfulness training doesn’t require any type of medication. One recent study shows that regular practice works better in some instances than the best antidepressant medications.
Mindfulness greatly helps people who struggle with pre-existing mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and ADHD. For instance, anxiety is a disorder where an individual’s thoughts trigger a fear response, which causes different symptoms. The skills you develop through mindfulness can calm down the part of the brain that is responsible for creating these symptoms. Training your brain to focus can greatly help with ADHD symptoms as well.
Lastly, mindfulness helps increase the strength of the prefrontal cortex, which is a big deal when recovering from addiction. Those with an addiction have a prefrontal cortex that doesn’t function properly, which makes recovery difficult. Studies that monitor brain growth show that practicing mindfulness is like going to the gym for your prefrontal cortex. Mindfulness helps you make better decisions and learn how to deal with your cravings in much healthier ways.
About Driftwood Recovery
Located in Driftwood, Texas, Driftwood Recovery uses various methods to help you recover from drug addiction. From substance use disorder to pain recovery, we will ensure that you get the best care possible. Find out more about how we can help you regain control of your life by calling us today at 866-426-4694.