5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness

Published March 12, 2019 by:

Comprehensive addiction treatment like the treatment programs we offer at Royal Life Centers can be intensive. We use intensive therapy to treat substance use disorder and alcohol use disorder. It is extremely important in recovery to recognize and process emotions for emotional, spiritual, and mental health. At Royal Life Centers, we encourage healthy habits and activities, as we treat the mind, body, and spirit for a full recovery.

Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present moment. It is important to cultivate mindfulness through out the recovery process, understanding how you think and feel in each moment. As the mind wanders, there are a variety of helpful ways to bring your attention back to the present. The effect of mindfulness is a better understanding of yourself to promote mental, physical and spiritual health. Recovery support is best given when thoughts and emotions are clear to our guests, so we encourage mindfulness to carry through out our therapies. Staying mindful works to allow you to focus on how you feel in the moment, which brings about self-knowledge and insight.

Here are five simple ways to practice being mindful:

  1. Meditation

Meditation is the most commonly known way to be mindful. If you have a hard time focusing during meditation, you can use a guided meditation to help bring you into a state of relaxation. Guided meditations can come in CDs, audio files online, videos with serene visuals, and other forms.

2. Playing I-Spy

I-Spy can seem childish or simple, but this game is actually a mindfulness technique. By seeing and describing an object, you are actually using your sense of sight to stay in the present moment. This technique is also extremely helpful in those who tend to disassociate in times of distress. Disassociation is a state that can occur in response to a trigger, and it is a mental process of disconnecting from your emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Having someone who is in a dissociative state describe an object in the room, can help that person bring themselves back to the present moment—taking themselves out of this state.

3.  Eating a Piece of Candy

Although very simplistic, eating a piece of candy can be a mindfulness activity. Mindfulness is achieved with focusing on the senses. The taste of the candy, the sensation of the candy in your mouth, and the recognition of the candy decreasing in size as you are eating it, are all ways to be mindful of the present moment through taste and other senses. The smelling, tasting, and touching that happen when you are eating are all sensations to focus on to practice being mindful.

4. Doing a Body Scan

Doing a body scan is one way to pay attention to the way each part of your body feels in the present moment. Visualize scanning down your body, starting from your head and moving down to your toes. Notice any tension, any feelings. Where are they at in your body? Try breathing into those spots. Visualize your deep breaths reaching those spots of tension, and picture the release of that tension leaving your body with each breath out.

5. Finger-Painting

Finger-painting is a great and fun way to practice both mindfulness and self-expression. The sensation of paint on your fingertips is something to focus your attention on, so that you stay in the present moment. Addiction recovery should include mindfulness activities that promote self-expression and creativity, like painting or finger-painting.

 

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