What is Mindfulness?
Though not easily achieved, mindfulness can be one of the most important gifts you can give yourself when it comes to dealing with any mental and societal issues you may have. Many people practice mindfulness on a daily basis, such as meditation, and it is fast becoming a common part of everyday life.
You need training, effort, and commitment to achieve mindfulness—some people who practice frequently may still have difficulty in achieving this state at times.
Mindfulness helps you to gain perspective on life and your experiences—good or bad.
Mindfulness and Addiction Treatment
Mindfulness-based therapies can be very useful in treating substance abuse and addiction. It can help you overcome your addiction and also help with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
For more information, read these articles:
- Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) in the Treatment of Addiction
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- A Mindful Approach to Alcohol Cravings
- What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
There are many different techniques to practicing mindfulness. A good way to start is by completing a full body scan:
- Lie down and make sure you are comfortable.
- Pay attention to your feet and notice how they feel. Do they itch? Are they hot or cold? Become aware of any sensations.
- Then work your way up your body. From your feet, notice the sensations in your lower leg up to your knees, thighs, etc. Keep going until you reach the very top of your head.
This method allows you to really pay attention to your body and a great way to relax before going to sleep.
If you want to really focus on clearing your mind and dealing with any issues affecting you mentally, a sitting meditation is the way to go:
- Close your eyes. If you prefer to keep your eyes open, keep them gazing downward in a relaxed position.
- Focus on breathing. Notice your breathe going in and out of your nose.
- When you notice you mind is wandering and being active, return your focus back to your breathing.
Try not to become frustrated if you find it hard to focus on your breathing. Mindfulness takes time to master and even those with years of experience can find it difficult at times.