For years researchers in the form of doctors and counselors have dedicated their efforts to studying cognitive behavioral approaches to addiction treatment. Why? Identifying successful strategies that fit this category would give professionals a means of addiction treatment that is both cost-effective and easy to implement.
Over the past twenty years, one proven form of cognitive behavioral treatment for addiction has been discovered in mindfulness meditation. As a result, practicing mindfulness has been used as an adjunct treatment and a stand-alone approach to rehab.
If you have been struggling with dependency on alcohol, you might want to pursue a rehab facility that incorporates mindfulness. But first, let’s discuss more about it.
What Is Mindfulness?
The variation of cognitive behavioral treatment that is gaining so much attention is called mindfulness.
In order to practice mindfulness, one must simply take a period of time out of the day (at least five minutes) and practice this meditation. Here are the steps to a session of mindfulness:
- Close eyes, be quiet, and steady breathing
- Clear the mind
- Recognize thoughts in non-judgmental, non-critical process
- Discard thoughts and transition to a state of peace
The above steps depict what a typical mindfulness session might look like. The goal is to achieve mental clarity by not dwelling on or being distracted by thoughts that enter the mind.
The process also allows a person to be aware of present thoughts, without giving those thoughts power over the mind.
Consciousness: Awareness And Attention
Clinical studies have proven that mindfulness helps a person reach a heightened state of awareness, which is identified as a facet of consciousness. What exactly is consciousness?
Consciousness contains two, intertwining parts: Awareness and attention. When a person is aware of thoughts, he or she knows what is going on in his or her mind. This person is simply aware of what is taking place.
During a normal day a person might think about a problem or experience and give that specific thought direct attention. Although this can be healthy, sometimes people get carried away with thoughts.
For example, a person struggling with addiction might grant him or herself the opportunity to think so much about going to get a bottle of booze that he or she feels overpowered by the thought; in turn, the person is compelled to hop in the car and drive straight over to the store. The person has given the thought a destructive level of attention.
Mindfulness Combating Unhealthy “Attention”
Mindfulness breaks up detrimental and unproductive thought processes.
When a person practices mindfulness, he or she is capable and productive in releasing thoughts (both positive and negative) and achieving a new level of clarity.
Mindfulness simply breaks up the level of attention given to the thoughts that the mind is sometimes plagued with. A mindfulness meditation session is a few minutes of peace and self-awareness in the midst of a busy day.
What’s The Point?
Many scholars argue that we live in a habitual, “half-awake” state. In other words, rather than functioning with heightened attentiveness to our circumstances and surroundings, a “chronic…automatic functioning” is common for individuals.
These scholars argue that sometimes we get so engulfed in regrets of the past, distracted by the present, and anxious about the future, that we aren’t living fully in the present. Makes sense, right?
Mindfulness focuses on the present: The here and now. What is going on in the mind? Why am I so burdened? How do I release it all? The answer to these questions is by using mindfulness as a strategy to create effective thought processing.
We already mentioned one way that mindfulness can combat obsessive attention given to a specific thought. But what are other outlets that mindfulness provides to help a person with alcohol addiction?
Therapists and counselors have noted that coping strategies are a key factor in maintaining sobriety. One effective strategy is called mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP).
MBRP has been adopted as an effective method for those struggling with addiction and in the process of rehabilitation and recovery, because it improves self-efficacy. Self efficacy is a person’s belief in his or her own ability to succeed or accomplish tasks.
Because mindfulness encourages a streamlined and non-burdening pattern of thought, a person who practices mindfulness also increases his or her self-efficacy. Mindfulness improves self-efficacy by building a positive approach to thoughts, which govern how a person approaches goals, challenges, and other tasks.
Benefits Of Mindfulness
Overall, mindfulness has many positives for a person willing to try this cognitive behavioral approach:
- Mental clarity
- Increased understanding
- Heightened awareness
- Ability to direct thoughts
- Develop relapse prevention measures
With such effective approaches to addiction treatment, it is not necessary to be burdened by the temptation of addiction. If you or someone you know has been dealing with alcohol addiction, it is time to reach out for help. Effective strategies, such as mindfulness, can be implemented in order to conquer dependency on alcohol or another drug.
Please make the life-changing decision to contact us today. At AlcoholTreatment.net, we will give you guidance on a mindfulness-based treatment facility that can help you achieve freedom from addiction.