Mindfulness and Sobriety: A Toolkit for Young Men
As someone who is suffering from a substance use disorder, sobriety will be a lifelong goal. While you will experience some good and bad days, combining mindfulness and sobriety can lead to more good days.
Mindfulness is a powerful psychological tool anyone can use to help them achieve their goals and improve their overall well-being. Mindfulness is being present in your own life.
Psychiatrists, spiritual leaders, and others have been studying and documenting the positive effects of mindfulness for years. Some studies show that mindfulness can improve your mental and physical health.
When you were engaged in your addictive behaviors, you were unknowingly shaping your brain to work against you. With mindfulness, you can start to undo that damage and change your brain to give you better awareness, control, and happiness.
Mindfulness Practices for Daily Life
One of the best things about mindfulness is that you can do it anywhere and anytime. It requires minimal effort and is something that you will slowly improve.
Here are three simple mindfulness practices you can start using every day:
- Recognize Your Thoughts Are Just Thoughts: Our thoughts drive our reality. However, our thoughts do not have to become reality. Just because you think of an idea in your head, that does not mean it has to happen. What you believe in your mind is not always true. Mindfulness helps us recognize harmful thoughts and let them go.
- Be Present in Life: In the age of smartphones, we can get distracted and disconnected from the reality around us. With mindfulness, you commit yourself to being active in your surroundings, even for a short time. For example, take a walk in the park, and instead of thinking about everything you need to do when you get home, focus on the surrounding beauty, your steps on the path, how the breeze feels on your skin, etc.
- Focus On Your Breathing: Breathing happens subconsciously and consciously. When you are feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to focus on your breathing. Breathe deeply and feel your lungs expand. Hold your breath for a few seconds, and then slowly release. After a few rounds, you should feel less stressed and more in control.
Mindfulness is an essential tool for anyone on a recovery journey. It teaches you to be more aware of your body, thoughts, and goals. Mindfulness and sobriety help you focus on the present, let go of negativity, and avoid distractions.
As you incorporate mindfulness into your daily life, you will see its value in managing stress, anxiety, and any other triggers for your substance use.
Mindfulness and Sobriety in Social Settings
Social settings that include triggers will likely be some of the most challenging situations you will find yourself in while on your journey to sobriety. Using mindfulness techniques can help you make good choices in these situations.
For example, if you see other people drinking, you might crave a drink yourself. You can use your mindfulness strategies to recognize this negative thought, choose not to act on it, take some deep breaths, and continue enjoying the company of your friends.
Continue Your Sober Journey in a Sober Living Home
Sometimes, even the most dedicated mindfulness techniques are not enough to overcome the triggers and temptations you may encounter. By choosing a sober living home like Ethos Recovery, you can continue your recovery journey of mindfulness and sobriety surrounded by a supportive community who have experienced some of the same things as you.
Want to see if Ethos Recovery is the right choice for you? Contact us today.
Author – Chris Howard
Chris Howard is the Founder and Director of Ethos Recovery. He has a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA and has served as a community advocate/mentor for men and women in recovery since 2010.