Mindfulness and Healing Addictions

A silhouetteof a woman sitting cross legged with her wrists resting on her knees and fingers in the om position in front of a sunset. - 7/01/2019

The world can be very challenging at times. Mindfulness practices teach skills that can help us cope with the distress life can bring.

Meditation

Similar to exercise and with regular practice meditation can improve overall wellness. You may even notice a difference after the first time you meditate in that you feel calmer.

How to meditate:

  • Sit in a comfortable place and position where it is quiet.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Focus on your breath.
  • Allow thoughts to come into your mind. When you notice you are thinking, simply bring awareness back to the breath.
  • You can use a mantra or a word if that helps.
  • Don’t do anything else during meditation time.

Start with a five-minute practice and work up to 20 minutes, twice each day.

Yoga

Another mindfulness practice is yoga, which teaches “distress tolerance” or coping skills for internal discomfort.  The ancient practice is not a competitive activity. Quite to the contrary, it’s an inward journey. For instance, a teacher might say: I invite you to step forward with your left foot. The invitation allows you to listen to your own body and perform your practice in a way that’s comfortable to you. Yoga allows you to slow down and hear the cues that tell you what you need: rest, food, touch, comfort, play or exercise.

Both practices teach you to feel and accept imperfection and encourage healing from the inside out. Read about a behavioral health facility that uses mindfulness to help address addiction.