In this article, we discuss the mindfulness procedure for southern California sober living. Mindfulness can be defined as “a non-judgmental means of taking note of emotions in the present moment.”
This means mindfulness seeks to permit us to focus our attention around the present moment. Whenever your mind wonders on the future or past, or when powerful emotions including cravings arise, mindfulness refocuses our mind towards the present moment.
Addiction and cravings are clearly behaviours that harm you physical and mental health insurance and tied together with compulsion in which you feel as if you can not stop.
Buddhism teachings state that humans hold onto desires and objects that ultimately cause suffering. This can include attachment to objects, people, substances, behaviours and abstract concepts for example identity.
Mindfulness permits us to release these desires bit by bit by increasing our knowledge of these desires and compulsions. Through this heightened state of awareness, mindfulness promotes the freedom and motivation to cease harmful activities.
Intense longing for drugs and alcohol is one method humans manifest this wish to ‘hold on’. Mindfulness thus increases our understanding of these desires and ultimately gives us the energy to release these negative desires permanently.
Since mindfulness is focused on the non-judgmental understanding of thoughts, feelings and cravings, patients are discouraged from ‘fighting’ cravings that typically generates a negative state for being.
Before we outline mindfulness and addiction therapy, we shall outline how an addiction arises from the beginning. Essentially, you experience stimuli that makes you feel good about yourself. You keep this in mind good feeling and after that seek to experience this stimuli that ‘recreates’ these good feelings. Overtime this behaviour is reinforced by either negative or positive affect to the level where cravings arise. You essentially experience urges for such positive feelings to continue.
Alternatively, when others are exposed to a certain environment, negative thoughts could lead to negative emotions for example anxiety, anger and depression. In order to reduce this anxiety, the person may turn to drug or alcohol use. This may lead to substance abuse and overtime, a variety of learned situational and emotional cues will act as ‘addiction triggers.’ These triggers “trap” the person and so the addiction takes hold. Addiction is thus an exaggeration of the basic human desire to move toward pleasure and move away from pain.
Negative emotional states and cravings are definitely the primary cause of relapse. Traditional anti-craving medications for example topiramate try to reduce cravings for drugs and alcohol use. However, these medications are just effective for several, and research indicates the potency of these treatments is largely influenced by patients’ genetics.
Traditional cognitive therapy likewise targets these cravings. As an illustration, CBT teaches patients in order to avoid identified triggers of addiction, or to take part in substitute behaviours such as bubble gum or chewing carrot sticks as opposed to smoking. Traditional CBT also seeks to change belief systems and alter unhealthy ‘automatic thoughts’ that drug rehab in California. By and large, these therapies are simply moderately effective. For instance, around 70% of smokers prefer to quit, but only around 5% succeed when traditional CBT is employed.
Mindfulness takes a different approach to traditional CBT. Mindfulness attempts to uncouple the link between cravings and drug/alcohol use, and tries to prevent the craving from arising to start with. Mindfulness promotes self-regulation of attention so that it is maintained on an immediate experience, thereby allowing for increased recognition of mental events within the present moment.
Unlike traditional CBT, mindfulness is not going to make an effort to let the patient to protect yourself from or substitute addictive behaviours. Instead, mindfulness drives a wedge between cravings as well as their resulting behaviours.
The notion of utilising mindfulness in the fight against addiction was proposed by American psychologist Professor Alan Marlatt in early 1980s. Professor Marlatt utilised an early kind of mindfulness called Vipassana to aid heavy alcohol and drug users overcome their addiction. Throughout an 8-week period Prof. Marlatt taught addicts the best way to meditate from the Vipassana tradition. All the participants were prison inmates. Professor Marlatt’s study showed a noticable difference in the participants’ mental outlook and also a decline in substance abuse upon their release from prison.
However, these gains were not sustained over time. Professor Marlatt attributed this to the point that the participants failed to consistently meditate once they were released from prison.
If you’ve ever taken part in a mindfulness meditation session then it’s not difficult to image why this activity has potential in assisting those who experience an addiction. Mindfulness helps the person to enhance her or his ability to pay attention to emotions because they arise inside the present moment. This improved degree of attention helps the patient to get a greater comprehension of his or her addiction triggers, including automatic behaviours that provide life to addictive tendencies.
Guiding patients’ attention returning to the current moment increases their awareness of their habitual habits and cravings so “uncoupling” of cravings and addictive behaviours will take place.For example, if you want to stop smoking, mindfulness will allow you to recognise the vile nature of inhaling harmful chemicals and therefore motivate you to want to quit. Mindfulness replaces automatic responses with disenchantment towards the addictive behaviour. For example, this woman who attended mindfulness sessions for smoking addiction realised that “cigarettes smells like stinky cheese and tastes like chemicals”. This woman was only able to visit this realisation on account of her increased awareness of her habit gained through completing mindfulness treatment.
Patients obtain a better knowledge of the interior mechanisms that occur between feeling cravings after which participating in addictive behaviours. Patients find out how they think, whatever they are thinking and how their body is feeling before, during and after addictive behaviours occur. Awareness allows patients to go towards change. Unawareness of the process chain patients to their addiction and mindfulness seeks to reverse this plight. Mindfulness teaches patients these people have a choice not to take part in these automatic addictive behaviours. Mindfulness helps patients to react differently to automatic thoughts, and so disengage from addictive behaviours. Especially, mindfulness empowers addicts through self-knowledge of automatic thought patterns.
Mindfulness will also help people to react to discomfort differently. When an uncomfortable feeling similar to a craving or anxiety arises, mindfulness teaches these patients to recognise these discomforts, and observe them non-judgementally, rather than automatically participating in addictive behaviours.
Furthermore, mindfulness helps patients admit they have a problem and overcome their denial. Mindfulness thus enables patients for a lifetime in recovery.
Since mindfulness teaches the individual to accept the present moment, it also helps the individual to deal with negative emotions from a distance. This ultimately helps the patients to diffuse negative emotions in ways that will not involve using drugs and alcohol. Patients thus discover how to detach from attributions and “automatic” thoughts that frequently cause relapse.
If you choose to implement mindfulness with your practice, we urge you to definitely adopt a person-centred or Rogerian approach to treatment i.e. adopting an accepting and non-judgement outlook that permits you to bond along with your patient and creating an environment of “unconditional acceptance”.
Once you’ve created this environment, you need to implement various meditation techniques. During meditation, the individual must concentrate on a physical object. This can be usually the breath as it is expelled from your nose. This is called mindfulness of breathing. Since the mind wonders, attention has to be re-focused entirely on the breath dexppky63 it leaves the nose and touches the lips.
Below we list common meditation techniques you could possibly implement:
Body scanning as taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Sitting meditations i.e. focused awareness (breathing) and expanding to body, emotion and thought
The above mentioned meditations typically take place in group sessions. Patients receive instructions and perform these meditations alone.
We also recommend you teach the idea of urge surfing. Urges certainly are a distressing feeling fuelled by way of a build up of cortisol. This teaches patients that cravings are like waves. Patients are taught to observe the need wave as it rises and passes, as opposed to attempting to fight or control the craving. This allows the sufferer to discover dual diagnosis treatment centers in California on their cravings, and weakens the power of urges with time. Each time you surf the need the weaker that urge becomes. If you consistently surf the impulse, the need will ultimately go away.