Mindful Meditation and Addiction
Learn about the connection and benefits of using mindfulness medtitation to cope with your addictions and cravings.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness. Let’s break it down. Mindfulness is seen when an individual is intentionally focusing their attention on their mind and the present moment. The source uses “non-judgemental form of observation”. Non-judgemental is a safe place to feel your emotions, to observe them, and even express them. Everytime your thoughts wander from this state- to the past or future, mindfulness gently brings them back to the present moment. Mindfulness is made up of three elements: remembering, awareness and attention. When we meditate with mindfulness we must be aware of the object of focus, and keep attention there.
Benefits of Mindful Mediation Practice
Listed below are a number of benefits the meditator can expect when using mindfulness in their practice:
- becoming less judgemental
- better at living in the present moment
- safely experiencing unpleasant emotions, and less troubled by them when they arise
- developing increased compassion and connection with other beings
- enhancing self-acceptance, self-awareness, feelings of calmness and peacefulness
- individual begins to see they are not their thoughts, and can be observed and overcome
- allows one to keep stress under control, therefore reducing also anxiety, and depression
- can work as an immune system booster
Mindfulness and Cravings
The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master. Cravings can be aliens in our minds, we are under no obligation to obey them. By being mindful, the individual is able to watch as cravings apprear and just as quickly dissappear. And sometimes just giving the craving acknowledgement is enough to make it disappear. Using mindfulness, the meditator can learn to deal with this mental issue in a new way. They can observe the craving and see that there is nothing worth giving attention to, and chose to never act on them, allowing the craving to subside.
It may not be totally possible to completely escape cravings, but one can learn to live with them. Mindfulness Meditation is an excellent tool that gives the individual the power to control their mind. Mindfulness may have value to those who are still addicted to chemical substances. Though, in order to get the most from this new practce, one must have good levels of concentration and a clear mind. Those who are still stuck in their abusive lives are anesthetizing their brains, so its more difficult for them to be mindful. Once an addict turns to recovery, this mindfulness can play a major role in dealing with their cravings.
Other Techniques for Dealing with Cravings
Below are other steps an addict can take when dealing with cravings.
- changing your present environement.
- being aware they they are not obligated to give in to cravings
- finding a distracting activity
- directly challange cravings, remembering all the times these craving thoughts caused trouble
- finding a positive sponsor, or a trusted friend to talk to
- assess where its coming from to rectify the situation – hunger, anger lonliness or tiredness etc.
- remember the reasons you gave up this addiction in the first place, and remind yourself of their importance to you and your loved ones