What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you:
- things you used to ignore or take for granted.
- things as they are at any given moment rather than how you would like them to be.
- and accept your thoughts, feelings, sensations and urges, without judgment and without reacting to them.
For more than 40 years Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment's dedicated professionals have provided compassionate alcohol and drug rehab programs for men and women, young men and teens. Gateway's dedicated professionals will answer your questions, help you understand substance abuse, and be with you every step of the way.
Benefits of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is highly effective in treating mood swings, stress, depression, grief and impulsivity–all of which are at risk of fueling addiction. Ultimately, people will do what they want. We cannot live their life for them. But once people reflect on what's important to them, they may decide it's time to let go of some things to live the life they want.
More often than not, people who come to Gateway Treatment Centers decide on their own that substance use is not consistent with their values. They realize that alcohol and drug use is holding them back.
- Improves awareness and communication.
- Enhances life skills, self-confidence.
- Addresses co-occurring mental health issues like anxiety and impulsivity–that may have contributed to or resulted from substance use.
- Reduces substance abuse and the likelihood of relapse.
How Mindfulness Works
"Instead of letting life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to every day experiences."
It's not unusual for a person to avoid thinking about or dealing with things that cause emotional discomfort. Rather than address a problem, it's less painful to avoid it or opt for a quick fix.
The mindfulness approach helps a person find his or her strengths as well as what is standing in the way of living a gratifying life. Once a person is willing to accept the realities of one's life, the individual gains the insight necessary to make value-based decisions. With values front and center, one may very well realize that excessive drinking and/or drug use doesn't support what's most important in life. As a result, life in recovery is more about discovering how fulfilling life can be and less about abstaining from substance abuse.
Accept & Discover
When living life mindfully, people become more aware of their immediate experience, life situation and personal values.
- What's important to you?
- What do you want your life to be like?
- Where do you want to be 5 years from now?
With an increasingly clear notion of how they want their life to be, they will delve into questions like:
- What's standing in the way of the life you want to live?
- What personal problems have been caused by substance abuse?
- What reliable resources are available to support you along the way?
Practice & Plan
With greater awareness and newly established goals, individuals will explore situations that pose a risk for relapse and practice different strategies to find out what works best for them.
- Learn how to assess situations in terms of risk as well as consistency with your value-based goals.
- Enhance motivation and self-confidence.
- Practice and modify your new skills through role playing real-life scenarios.
- Identify and enlist a support system, such as family members, community programs, recovery groups, sponsor and your Gateway counselor.