Common Mindfulness Exercises and Why They’re Taught

Mindfulness and meditative exercises are getting more and more popular across the nation and especially for addiction treatment. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This can be done through different mindfulness exercises, which we will go over.

Let’s examine a few of the most common types of mindfulness exercises

  1. Mindfulness of the breath is one mindfulness exercise that is often taught. To do this, you simply focus your attention on your breath and notice the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body. You can do this for a few minutes at a time and it can be helpful to focus on the breath when you’re feeling anxious or stressed. Some common types of mindfulness breathing include box breathing, diaphragm breathing, and more.
  2. Body scan mindfulness is another common exercise that is often taught in addiction treatment. This exercise involves lying down and focusing your attention on different parts of your body, noticing any sensations you feel. The purpose of this exercise is to help you become more aware of your body and to learn to notice when you’re feeling tense or stressed.
  3. Yoga is another form of mindfulness that people don’t often think about. Yoga can help you become more aware of your body and your breath, and it can also help to reduce stress. There are many different types of yoga, so you can find one that works best for you.

These are just a few of the many mindfulness and meditative exercises that are practiced and taught in substance abuse treatment. But, this may bring on another question: why are these things taught in rehab?

Why is Mindfulness Taught in Rehab?

There are many reasons why mindfulness is taught and practiced in addiction treatment. One reason is that it can help to reduce stress. Stress is a very common trigger for relapse, so if we can learn to deal with stress in a healthy way, it can help us stay sober.

Mindfulness can also help us to become more aware of our thoughts and emotions. This can be helpful in two ways. First, it can help us to see when we are starting to have thoughts that may lead to relapse. Second, it can help us to deal with our emotions in a healthy way instead of numbing them with drugs or alcohol.

Another reason mindfulness is taught in treatment is because it can help to increase our self-compassion. This means being kind and understanding towards ourselves, even when we make mistakes. A lot of people in recovery find it helpful to think of themselves as a “work in progress” instead of someone who is “perfect.” By practicing self-compassion, we can learn to accept ourselves for who we actually are and work to create a sense of self-appreciation.

Overall, mindfulness and meditation experiences are extremely conducive with what clients are to be taught in addiction treatment. Specifically, mindfulness has been shown to help with relapse prevention which is a pillar of long-term sobriety. Most people understand that addiction is not something with a cure, it is something you will have to fight every single day, even after being sober for years. Because of this, having relapse prevention strategies in place is key to ensuring long-term success — this is where mindfulness comes in.

By practicing mindfulness regularly, it can be something clients can rely on when dealing with strong cravings or urges to use.

Overall, if you are looking for a rehab near you and want to ensure the program you are looking into will set you up for success, make sure to ask about mindfulness practices.

Author’s Bio:

Joe Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for nearly half a decade and currently works for California Detox, an evidence-based treatment center in Southern California.