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In this post, we discuss the mindfulness strategy to sober living California. Mindfulness can be defined as “a non-judgmental strategy for watching emotions in the present moment.”

This means mindfulness seeks to let us focus our attention on the present moment. Whenever your mind wonders for the future or past, or when powerful emotions such as cravings arise, mindfulness refocuses our mind on the present moment.

Addiction and cravings are clearly behaviours that harm you mental and physical health and tied together with compulsion the place you feel as if you can not stop.

Buddhism teachings declare that humans hold onto desires and objects that ultimately cause suffering. Including attachment to objects, people, substances, behaviours and abstract concepts for example identity.

Mindfulness allows us to forget about these desires bit by bit by increasing our awareness of these desires and compulsions. Through this heightened state of awareness, mindfulness promotes the liberty and motivation to cease harmful activities.

Intense looking for drugs and alcohol is an excellent method humans manifest this wish to ‘hold on’. Mindfulness thus increases our awareness of these desires and ultimately offers us the ability to discharge these negative desires for good.

Since mindfulness focuses on the non-judgmental knowledge of thoughts, feelings and cravings, patients are discouraged from ‘fighting’ cravings that typically produces a negative state being.

Before we outline mindfulness and addiction therapy, we shall outline how an addiction arises in the first place. Essentially, you have stimuli which makes you feel good about yourself. You keep this in mind good feeling and then aim to experience this stimuli that ‘recreates’ these good feelings. Overtime this behaviour is reinforced by either negative or positive affect to the stage where cravings arise. You essentially experience urges for these positive feelings to carry on.

Alternatively, when others are open to a specific environment, negative thoughts may lead to negative emotions for example anxiety, anger and depression. To be able to reduce this anxiety, the person may make use of drug or alcohol use. This may lead to substance abuse and overtime, a variety of learned situational and emotional cues will serve as ‘addiction triggers.’ These triggers “trap” anyone therefore the addiction takes hold. Addiction is thus an exaggeration from the basic human wish to move toward pleasure and move away from pain.

Negative emotional states and cravings are the primary reason for relapse. Traditional anti-craving medications such as topiramate attempt to reduce cravings for drugs and alcohol use. However, these medications are only effective for a few, and research indicates the strength of these treatments is largely affected by patients’ genetics.

Traditional cognitive therapy likewise targets these cravings. For instance, CBT teaches patients in order to avoid identified triggers of addiction, or to engage in substitute behaviours like chewing gum or chewing carrot sticks instead of smoking. Traditional CBT also seeks to change belief systems and alter unhealthy ‘automatic thoughts’ that California alcohol intervention. In general, these therapies are merely moderately effective. For example, around 70% of smokers wish to quit, but only around 5% succeed when traditional CBT is employed.

Mindfulness requires a different strategy to traditional CBT. Mindfulness attempts to uncouple the web link between cravings and drug/alcohol use, and tries to stop the craving from arising to start with. Mindfulness promotes self-regulating attention that it is maintained by using an immediate experience, thereby making it possible for increased recognition of mental events in the present moment.

Unlike traditional CBT, mindfulness is not going to make an attempt to encourage the patient to avoid or substitute addictive behaviours. Instead, mindfulness drives a wedge between cravings as well as their resulting behaviours.

The concept of utilising mindfulness inside the combat addiction was first proposed by American psychologist Professor Alan Marlatt in the early 1980s. Professor Marlatt utilised a medieval form of mindfulness referred to as Vipassana to help you heavy alcohol and drug users overcome their addiction. During an 8-week period Prof. Marlatt taught addicts the way to meditate within the Vipassana tradition. Each of the participants were prison inmates. Professor Marlatt’s study showed an improvement inside the participants’ mental outlook as well as a decrease in substance abuse upon their release from prison.

However, these gains were not sustained after a while. Professor Marlatt attributed this to the truth that the participants failed to still meditate once they were released from prison.

If you’ve ever taken part within a mindfulness meditation session then it’s not hard to image why this activity has potential to help those who suffer from an addiction. Mindfulness helps the sufferer to further improve their ability to pay attention to emotions because they arise in the present moment. This improved amount of attention helps the individual to gain an improved knowledge of their addiction triggers, including automatic behaviours that provide life to addictive tendencies.

Guiding patients’ attention straight back to the present moment increases their knowledge of their habitual habits and cravings so “uncoupling” of cravings and addictive behaviours might take place.As an example, if you wish to give up smoking, mindfulness will enable you to recognise the vile nature of inhaling harmful chemicals and therefore motivate you to need to give up. Mindfulness replaces automatic responses with disenchantment to 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 due to her increased awareness of her habit gained through completing mindfulness treatment.

Patients obtain a better understanding of the inner mechanisms that occur between feeling cravings after which undertaking addictive behaviours. Patients understand how they think, whatever they are planning and the way their body is feeling before, during and after addictive behaviours take place. Awareness allows patients to maneuver towards change. Unawareness of the process chain patients with their addiction and mindfulness seeks to reverse this plight. Mindfulness teaches patients they have a choice not to engage in these automatic addictive behaviours. Mindfulness helps patients to react differently to automatic thoughts, and thus disengage from addictive behaviours. First and foremost, mindfulness empowers addicts through self-knowledge of automatic thought patterns.

Mindfulness also helps customers to respond 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, as opposed to automatically performing addictive behaviours.

Furthermore, mindfulness helps patients admit they have a problem and overcome their denial. Mindfulness thus enables patients forever in recovery.

Since mindfulness teaches the person to accept the current moment, it can also help the individual to deal with negative emotions from a distance. This ultimately helps the patients to diffuse negative emotions in such a way that fails to involve using drugs and alcohol. Patients thus learn how to detach from attributions and “automatic” thoughts that frequently cause relapse.

If you decide to implement mindfulness inside your practice, we urge anyone to adopt the person-centred or Rogerian approach to treatment i.e. adopting an accepting and non-judgement outlook that allows you to bond together with your patient and creating an environment of “unconditional acceptance”.

Once you’ve created this environment, you will have to implement many different meditation techniques. During meditation, the patient must concentrate on an item. This is certainly typically the breath since it is expelled in the nose. This is referred to as mindfulness of breathing. Since the mind wonders, attention has to be re-dedicated to the breath dexppky63 it leaves the nose and touches the lips.

Below we list common meditation techniques you may implement:

Body scanning as taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Sitting meditations i.e. focused awareness (breathing) and expanding to body, emotion and thought

Walking meditation

Mountain meditation

These meditations typically take place in group sessions. Patients receive instructions and perform these meditations alone.

We also recommend you teach the thought of urge surfing. Urges are a distressing feeling fuelled from a increase of cortisol. This teaches patients that cravings are similar to waves. Patients are taught to observe the urge wave as it rises and passes, instead of attempting to fight or control the craving. This enables the sufferer to find out California drug treatment on their cravings, and weakens the intensity of urges after a while. Each time you surf the impulse the weaker that urge becomes. When you consistently surf the impulse, the impulse could eventually go away completely.