Mindfulness is a state of mental awareness and focus that has traditionally been used in meditation practices and has recently become popular as an element of certain types of cognitive behavioral therapy, such as: B. mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, acceptance and attachment therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy.
To understand what mindfulness is, it helps to practice mindfulness yourself. When you are mindful you are aware of both your external environment and your internal experience, including your own reactions to what is happening around you in the present moment. The goal of mindfulness is to become aware without being tied to anything that you are experiencing.
Although mindfulness in and of itself is not difficult, it does require a certain amount of self-discipline in order to focus only on the present moment and not get caught up in thoughts about the past and the future. Because of this, mindfulness exercises can be helpful in bringing mindfulness into focus. Examples of mindfulness exercises are the raisin exercise, where you take the time to look at, smell, hear, and finally eat a raisin, and the body scan, where you work through your entire body and only feel the sensations of each body part.
How mindfulness helps with addiction
You may be wondering how mindfulness can help therapeutically. You are not alone – when many people are introduced to mindfulness, the reaction is, “Is that it? How will this help me stop or feel better?”
One of the most basic ways people can feel better is to slow things down so you don’t rush from one activity to the next or even from one thought to another. By calming down the mental chatter, you can achieve a sense of calm, which is often why people use drugs like alcohol, marijuana, and opiates.
Another way mindfulness can make you feel better is by noticing many wonderful sensory experiences that occur in everyday life that we often go unnoticed. If you allow the beauty of the world around you to fill your consciousness, the world doesn’t seem to be such a bad place.
Yu is less likely to seek addictive pleasure when you are enjoying life for its own sake.
A third way mindfulness can make you feel better is by better understanding your own reactions to things. Understanding your reactions without becoming attached to them can often help you let go of things that may have provoked you in the past. People often come to new knowledge about themselves and the things that make them drink, use drugs, or engage in other addictive behaviors, which can make it easier to react differently in the future.
Mindfulness has been used effectively in the treatment of addiction. Marsha Linehan, one of the pioneers in the use of mindfulness in cognitive behavioral therapy, developed a new approach to treating borderline personality disorders, initially in women with chronic drug problems.
What is mindfulness?
Skills taught in mindfulness include:
- Monitoring: Pay close attention to what is going on around you
- Description: To be able to say in words what happened and how you felt
- Participation: Engaging in an activity without realizing it
- Take a non-judgmental stance: Accepting things as they are rather than judging them
- Concentrating on one thing in the moment: Without distraction from other ideas or events
- Effectiveness: Do what works instead of guessing yourself
Mindfulness also includes recognizing when you are on an “autopilot” – acting without thinking about what you are doing and developing an attitude of “loving kindness” – a kind, uncritical attitude towards yourself and others.
Mindfulness-based relapse prevention
Recently, a program for mindfulness-based relapse prevention was developed that combines cognitive-behavioral approaches to relapse prevention with mindfulness practice and relapse prevention. Mindfulness-based relapse prevention includes the following elements:
- Autopilot and relapse
- Awareness of triggers and cravings
- Mindfulness in daily life and in high risk situations
- Accepting everything that happens and acting skillfully
- The role of thoughts in relapse
- Take care of yourself as part of a healthy lifestyle
- Social support and maintaining your mindfulness practice