Many people who have an addiction to drugs or alcohol have made at least one attempt at staying clean. One of the hardest parts about remaining sober is dealing with the cravings as well as difficult emotional triggers. Mindfulness-based stress reduction is a practice that can help you stay sober for good. Not only that, but mindfulness also decreases symptoms of a wide range of different mental illnesses.
What is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction?
Mindfulness is a form of meditation, but it’s more about present moment awareness, and it’s completely secular. A man by the name of Jon Kabat-Zinn is known as the father of Western mindfulness for bringing it to the states decades ago. He created mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) as a therapeutic practice for managing stress, but it has many more applications. He defines mindfulness as paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and without judgment.
Not long after he created MBSR, he was asked to see if it might work for people with chronic pain that medications weren’t helping. Many people were skeptical, but the results showed exactly how powerful mindfulness is. Today, treatment professionals use MBSR in a wide range of ways to help people live happier, healthier lives. We now know that mindfulness actually helps to strengthen the prefrontal cortex as well, which is responsible for the following:
- Logical decision making
- Impulse control
- Emotional regulation
- Fear modulation
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Cravings
Cravings come from a wide range of triggers, and the natural impulse of someone with an addiction is to use. This is because the brain is trying to avoid negative feelings and emotions. Using your willpower to stop your cravings doesn’t work because it depletes the brain’s resources. Through meditation therapy, you’re able to work through your cravings and watch them subside.
There’s a very common practice of mindfulness called RAIN, which is great for working through cravings as well as emotions. Rather than acting on the cravings, this meditation is about recognizing, accepting, investigating and noting the cravings. When you simply get curious about what’s happening in your experience, cravings are much easier to manage. You’ll see that cravings, as well as emotions, come and go, and you no longer have to respond to them.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Mental Illness
Many people who struggle with addiction also have an underlying mental illness that can make achieving recovery difficult. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, bipolar, borderline personality disorder or PTSD, mindfulness can help. Some studies have shown that those who regularly practice mindfulness have major decreases in anxiety and depression. The great thing about mindfulness is that you can do it anywhere and anytime.
Driftwood Recovery is an addiction treatment center that also specializes in pain management. Whether you’re struggling with addiction, mental illness, chronic pain or a combination of these, we can help. Through mindfulness-based stress reduction, you’ll quickly be able to see that it is possible for you to stay clean for years to come. We offer our Clients a beautiful setting in Driftwood, Texas that gives you the time you need to focus on your recovery.
Aside from MBSR, we offer a wide range of other treatment methods such as:
Our facility is fully accredited by the Joint Commission, which means we use science-based treatments to help you recover. If you’re ready to quit living the way you’re living, we’d love to be part of your journey. Find out more by calling Driftwood Recovery today at 866-426-4694.