The mind can offer you freedom or it can make you feel trapped. When you live with anxiety and stress, your mind could be creating illogical thoughts and therefore weaken your resiliency to endure and work through problems in a rational way. Often, when anxiety and stress are not managed, you might turn to using drugs or drinking alcohol to alleviate stress and anxiety. However, when using a substance to regulate your emotions, you are creating more harm to your mental and physical well-being and, therefore, damaging your life quality.
Mindfulness is more than quiet meditation. It is an awareness of the mind, body, and environment. Practicing mindfulness helps to direct your thoughts from illogical scenarios toward logical outcomes. When you live in the worst-case scenario, mindfulness will help you recognize how you feel in the moment, not how you suspect you will feel. If you are struggling to manage your thoughts and are using drugs and alcohol to cope, maybe it is time to try mindfulness.
When you pair anxiety with an addiction, it is common to adopt a harmful or destructive state of mind. These emotions typically stem from illogical thoughts. This frame of mind is debilitating because it makes you feel like you cannot get anywhere until this immediate thought or imagined scenario is resolved.
Practicing mindfulness will help you to become aware of these thoughts and patterns that you often cycle through. Awareness will help you recognize and handle feelings as they come. It will help you decide whether the thought is worth pursuing, if it is logical or illogical. It will allow you to form a wiser relationship within yourself and make more sensible choices about which thoughts are best for you.
As a Practice
Mindfulness is a practice. Mindfulness should not be considered to be something that will eliminate negative thoughts. Mindfulness is the opposite; it should help you see that you cannot control every scenario and situation and therefore allow you the freedom to accept that things aren’t going to happen exactly how you perceive them—that things are imperfect. It promotes and even encourages you to evaluate the thoughts that cause agitation and stress, similar to how a map shows you rough terrain and how to navigate through and around it.
Mindfulness will allow you to break down the scenario and find a deeper meaning in the resolution. For example, you are angry and your fist is clenched; if you strike something, you are aware that you committed the act. When practicing mindfulness before committing the action, you will be able to think with discernment; what will happen when committing such an act? You will think outside of your anger and have a broader sense of why you respond this way. Knowing how and why you respond in certain ways and being able to control these responses is a freeing feeling.
Peeking Behind the Curtain
The art of mindfulness is not always so straightforward. Part of this experience is to show you things about yourself that you might not have realized or avoided. Sometimes this can take you to a dark place, but these dark places have a subconscious impact on your health and need to be addressed. If not treated, these thoughts will continue to manipulate your feeling of joy by enabling you to continue to use substances because it brings you a sense of satisfaction. However, this joy is a deception, and it can put your health in danger.
Sometimes to harvest positive thoughts and feelings, you need to bring the negative ones closer to you. When you feel fear, hostility, or betrayal, it is essential to sit with these thoughts to understand why you feel these emotions. Studies show that when you can bring awareness to negative thoughts and talk about it and identify it, you can move the negative energy attached to it into proactive energy to resolve the feeling.
Stress and anxiety don’t just prey on mental health, but physical health too. These disturbing thoughts could create or exasperate a minor health concern into a serious illness, such as cancers, respiratory problems, heart disease, digestive and circulatory problems, to name a few. Successfully managing anxiety and stress is difficult for everybody, and it will need to be addressed at some point in their life. However, when you struggle with stress and anxiety constantly and have not been practicing healthy ways to manage it, it becomes harder to combat. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress.
Mindfulness will tune your body much like an instrument to help you produce the best results. Consistent pursuit of mindfulness will transition into your daily life and help you through situations as they occur. Understand that it will take persistence and undergoing challenges before reaping all of the benefits. So allow yourself to make mistakes and encounter challenges along the way–this is all part of the process. If you find that it is hard to get into or educate yourself on how to get started and are continuing to struggle with using or the thought of using, then it is time to seek help.
True Recovery offers 24/7 care specializing in the power of alternative treatment, with mindfulness being among those alternatives. If you want care that treats your specific needs and you don’t think conventional methods are for you, then True Recovery is the place for you. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.