Going into 2022, we’re all hoping things will get better. For recovering addicts, the stakes may feel particularly high. If you’re considering going into an addiction recovery center, you might be wondering how they will help in such strange times.
This is not always an easy question to answer. While addiction recovery centers provide a great service, it is tough to understand their success in the context of the world we live in. However, if you look at the way addiction recovery centers are embracing mindfulness, you start to see a pattern.
Mindfulness is helping people around the world cope through tough times. In addiction recovery centers, it is beginning to occupy a primary place. Here are 5 reasons why rehab centers are embracing mindfulness.
1. Recovery starts now
One of the biggest struggles recovering addicts have is the possibility that they will relapse. They have seen the statistics and know that relapse is fairly common. It is frightening to think that all this work may be for nothing. However, mindfulness shows us the flaws in this thinking.
Mindfulness is about being present. At any given moment, all you have is the present. No matter what you do, you cannot live in the past or the future. Which makes right now the most important time in your life.
Mindfulness therefore shows us that recovery is something to cherish no matter how long it lasts. You can never know if you will stay sober for the rest of your life, so spending your time obsessing over it will not help you. Embrace what you have right now.
2. We have no control
Another reason addiction recovery centers are embracing mindfulness is because they recognize that we have no control over the future. This is especially pertinent going into 2022. At the end of 2020, we thought the pandemic was ending. A year onwards, it is clear that we are still some way away from the end of COVID-19. We have no control over how 2022 will pan out.
For people recovering from addiction, this can be a hard lesson to learn. It can feel very disheartening to know that no matter what you do to improve your life, the world may have other plans.
Mindfulness teaches us that you can only change how you react – or don’t react – to events around you. It gives us tools to manage our emotions so that we can experience life fully no matter what the world throws at us. It trains us to accept pain without judgement, allowing us to live with meaning in a world that may seem out of whack.
3. Addiction dulls emotions
Some people use substances to avoid or numb out their emotions. But even those who use substances for other reasons eventually succumb to a kind of numbness. Addiction dulls emotions, making them all feel somewhat similar and leading us to forget how to manage them.
Addiction recovery centers provide mindfulness training because it shows us how to feel our emotions fully. The vivid experience of emotions is the polar opposite of the experience of addiction.
This might not sound enticing to those who have strong emotions such as sadness and despair. However, it is our judgments about those emotions that make them so difficult to bear. With mindfulness tools, you can experience your emotions without spiralling or reacting to them.
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4. Mindfulness is physical and mental
Addiction is both a physical and mental illness. Furthermore, our world at the moment is going through physical and mental crises. Recovery from addiction requires both aspects of the self to be treated.
Mindfulness is useful not only in treating emotional pain but in treating physical pain as well. It has been used effectively by people suffering from chronic pain. Recovering addicts who learn mindfulness techniques can successfully manage physical and mental cravings. They are also best placed to manage pain caused by illness and other physical challenges.
5. Mindfulness is a perpetual practice
Addiction recovery centers need to provide treatment that works throughout a person’s life. Treatment needs to help the person not only while they are in rehab but when they go home as well. Mindfulness is the perfect treatment because it is a practice that can be used day after day throughout a person’s life.
Mindfulness helps in a number of ways, but it is not a course of treatment you simply go through once. Rather, the more you practice mindfulness, the more effective it becomes. You continue to grow with mindfulness, leading to a more meaningful, happy life.
Addiction recovery centers are embracing mindfulness for all of the above reasons. Going into 2022, mindfulness is exactly what we need.