Drugs and alcohol numb us out. Though we feel the rush of euphoria, the excitement of stimulants, or the analgesia of opioids, we are essentially numb. We escape the reality of our human emotions and rest instead in an altered state. When we are intoxicated, and addicted, we usually don’t notice things about us. That is why we get into accidents, find ourselves prone to injury, and generally feel disconnected between mind and body. For most people who abuse recreational substances, that is sort of the point. We want to drop out and free fall in a disconnected state. Drugs and alcohol feel for mahy like the connection they are looking for. Indeed, many of us could say that we felt (or still feel) as though we really found ourselves through substance abuse. We simultaneously escaped our minds and found ourselves within new parts of our minds- unknowingly changing the way our minds would work.
Mindfulness is About Noticing
Mindfulness is a practice of noticing, paying attention, and becoming aware. Beyond the surface of the practice is scientifically proven neurochemistry change. When you actively pay attention and practice noticing, you undo all the changes which kept you oblivious, out of touch, and unaware. Mindfulness helps reduce stress, symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as cravings for drugs and alcohol.
Bringing mindfulness into your recovery life starts the minute you decide to get sober. You have to immediately begin paying more attention to the various signals and warning signs both your mind and your body give you for cravings. Being aware of these triggers helps you to act contrarily- meaning, you don’t pick up and use. As you continue to recover, your mindfulness practice will continue to grow.
These are a few simple ways to integrate more awareness into your recovery without having to go to great lengths to take time for mindfulness practice:
- Focus on what you’re eating without being on your phone or distracted
- Set reminders on your phone to take a deep breath and pay attention to what’s going on around you
- Talk to everyone as if the conversation was meaningful
- Practice gratitude by finding things to appreciate about each experience during the day
- Pay attention to what’s around you when you are driving
Living in the present moment makes life so much more enjoyable and enriching. Lakehouse Recovery Center wants to help you learn how to enjoy your life again without drugs and alcohol. For more information on our residential treatment center or to schedule a tour of our beautiful facility, call us today at 877.762.3707.