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Mindfulness is a Great Tool for Living Sober

hand writing mindfulness on a screen

The first few months of recovery can be a bumpy road if you’re not prepared. New feelings, friendships, and a new way of life take adjusting to. You may also still be experiencing withdrawal after years of using substances. If you don’t know it already, it’s important to be aware that this too shall pass. Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can help you hold on while you’re waiting for negative emotions to pass.

What is Mindfulness?

According to Wikipedia, “Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.”

Sounds like a lot of work, huh? Actually, mindfulness is pretty much the opposite of work. When you take the time to slow down during a busy day, close your eyes and live in the moment, you’re doing a form of meditation that focuses on your breathing. For a moment, all you can do is be.

Learning Mindfulness

The simplest way to learn mindfulness is to practice being aware of the world outside yourself. Take a mindfulness walk, where you only focus on the squirrels, trees, and the sounds around you. Don’t use your phone or listen to music. Take a nice, slow walk and just be.

There are also breathing exercises you can use when you’re stressed. Practice mindfulness by closing your eyes and taking a deep breath through your nose. Exhale through your mouth and pay attention to the sound and feeling of your body as you do this. Keep your eyes closed and mentally count backward from ten for each breath. As you breathe, pay attention to the sounds around you and the sensations of your body.

You can also learn mindfulness on various websites dedicated to the topic and video websites such as Youtube or Vimeo. Do what works for you and leave the rest. Mindfulness is a great way to relax on a stressful day. It’s also a tool you can use when you feel triggered to use or do something self-destructive.

Sober Living Can Help, Too

Not everyone finishes treatment feeling safe and prepared for the real world, and that’s okay. There are many options available for people who want to live with others in recovery for added stability and understanding. We have some fantastic sober housing options for you to check out. Please give us a call at 760-216-2077 to learn more about your options.

If you were asked at any point during your active addiction “why” you used, you probably said you did it for an “escape,” a “reward” or to relax. Both escapes and rewards are also ways people try to relax. Relaxation is a common reason people from all walks of life say that they use alcohol or drugs. Drugs and alcohol tap into the “reward” part of the brain, making people feel more relaxed and less stress. For people with a substance use disorder, their drug of choice is the only skill they know when it comes to relaxation. It’s challenging for some people to relax once they have gotten sober.

Relaxation Tools

Sometimes people in recovery realize right away what their lives have been missing. If you quit doing the things you loved to do when you started using alcohol and drugs, you’re not alone. Substance use is a dream-killer because it keeps people from their passions and using takes over your life.

What did you use to do that you enjoyed? Even if you used drugs and alcohol for decades, you probably had interests. Maybe you loved to write when you were in high school, or perhaps you used to go jogging. Both of these activities can be therapeutic, helping you work out stress and anxiety.

Finding activities that make you feel relaxed should be a priority throughout your life. After all, having hobbies is rewarding and helps give you purpose as well as relaxation. There are many ways people relax. For some people, it’s just going for a walk, while other people may meditate or try yoga.

A list of activities that you might find relaxing:

If you aren’t sure what any of these items are, you can Google them. You may notice that a lot of these activities involve exercise, some form of meditation, and creation. Finding things that you enjoy in these categories may take some time, but you’ll learn to enjoy yourself, let go, and have fun while you’re relaxing.

Consider Sober Living

Living in a sober home can be a less stressful way to transition from treatment and start your recovery. Learn more about sober living and aftercare programs by calling us at 760-216-2077.



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