22 Feb How Can Mindfulness Help With Addiction & Cravings
Mindfulness is a practice that originated with the ancient Buddhists. Nowadays, it is often associated with meditative practices — however, mindfulness has been accepted by the medical community for its many benefits.
As such, many of these practices are often recommended by addiction therapists. If you’re attending a detox center San Diego, you may want to ask about mindfulness practice. It can help you understand your cravings, emotions, and addictions.
In this article, we’re going to give a brief outline of how you can use mindfulness to understand cravings and addiction.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a practice that allows people to become more aware of what’s going on in their minds and bodies.
The reality is that most of us have no idea what’s going through our heads throughout most of the day. We might become conscious of a few select thoughts that we put our entire focus on. However, the brain is running constantly, and throughout the day, it doesn’t really stop thinking.
Many of these unconscious thoughts can be recognized through using mindfulness. Mindfulness allows you to take an impartial, nonjudgmental stance. It allows you to observe what’s going on in your head and what feelings you’re experiencing without judging or reacting to them.
How can mindfulness help with addiction?
The majority of drug users don’t actually want to be addicted to drugs. Instead, they became addicted because of certain thoughts or emotions that caused them to act in a certain way.
Many people with substance abuse problems don’t actually know why they started using drugs in the first place. This alone is a sign that people are not mindful of what’s going on in their heads. Nobody wants to become addicted. That means that, at least unconsciously, there is some thought pattern, belief, or emotion that led people to use drugs.
Practicing mindfulness can help you understand these causes. The more you practice mindfulness, the more you will become aware of your thoughts and emotions. This includes emotions specifically related to addiction, like cravings.
Rather than reacting to them instantly, you’ll be able to see them for what they are. Thoughts are simply the result of our environments and the experiences that we’ve had. Our emotions are a response to these thoughts.
When most people have an unpleasant thought or an unpleasant emotion, they stifle it quickly. This is called repression. Repression itself is very unhealthy and often leads to addiction.
Mindfulness is a useful supplementary treatment because it teaches you how to acknowledge and accept the emotions underlying your addiction. You can figure out where they come from, how they’re affecting you, and whether or not they contribute to your cravings.
Mindfulness meditation isn’t always easy to start, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. The most simple mindfulness activities simply involve being still and remaining observant of what’s going on in your mind.
There are many books, online seminars, and articles that you can read about mindfulness that can help you develop your own practice.
Mindfulness is a very old practice that remains extremely useful even today. One of the more contemporary uses for mindfulness is to help people understand their addictions and cravings.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, then reach out to a detox center San Diego. You may be able to find an addiction coach that can also teach you how to practice mindfulness. Otherwise, don’t hesitate to reach out to a local meditation group.