Mindfulness is a buzz word passed about by psychology groups and wellness coaches. But what does it mean? How can mindfulness help a recovering addict while in drug rehab?
Definition of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the act of being present in each moment. Psychology Today defines it as “… a state of active, open attention on the present”.
Mindfulness is the intention to know surroundings, people, and emotions moment-by-moment. It means disengaging from distractions while speaking with another person. It means not answering an incoming phone and showing another person they are important.
Mindfulness can mean eating food without watching a television program. This helps to gauge when one is full versus eating out of distraction.
Simply stated, mindfulness is giving attention to the moment at hand.
Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness to Decrease Chronic Pain
Many chronic pain sufferers become addicted to drugs and alcohol to mask pain. The University of Boston conducted a survey of substance users in relationship to chronic pain. Out of 589 people who admitted substance use, 87% admitted to prescription drug abuse or illegal drug use to mask chronic pain.
Yet dependency and addiction make the pain worse. Dr. Timothy Walker has found that chronic pain subsides once a person detoxes and becomes more active.
Using mindfulness is a great tool to relieve chronic pain. When pain is present, take a moment to acknowledge the pain. Many people have decrease chronic pain without medication. Instead of reaching for something to mask the pain, use the tools your pain therapist at the drug rehabs in South Florida give you during recovery. Yoga and deep breathing exercises are proven to give the sufferer relief.
How to Practice Mindfulness While in Drug Rehab
A barrier to recovery is the fear of detox. But detox does not have to cause fear anymore. Medical assisted detox offers support to the recovering addict. With medical assisted detox, most people feel like they are suffering from the flu.
During this time, it’s important to focus on each moment. Realize what emotions are being experienced and keep a journal. Write when the desire to use comes up again. What are the associated feelings? Has the pain been worse leading to the desire to use?
Then write what activity relieve the desire or pain. This journal will serve as a reminder that there are alternatives to substance abuse. It will also be a reminder of the activities that reduce chronic pain, such a yoga.
How to Continue Mindfulness Once Drug Rehab is Complete
Recovery does not stop once the intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment ends. The road to recovery lasts a lifetime. It is important to continue practicing the tools learned while in drug rehab in South Florida. Mindfulness is the best way to stay connected and aware of needs. Relapse can happen at any moment, but mindfulness helps the recovering addict to feel emotions and deal with them successfully.
Looking for a drug rehab facility that uses mindfulness? Contact Aion Recovery today to start on your journey of sobriety. Each patient receives the materials and support they need & life-skills applications. Call 888-811-2879 now to talk with an Aion Recovery Specialist.
Important points in this article that we should be aware of about practicing mindfulness in decreasing chronic pain. This would really be a huge help. Thanks for sharing this great article.
Good point Alec. Thanks for the feedback!