Mindfulness for Addiction

Mindfulness for Addiction

A definition of addiction is the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit forming.

Now when we think of what that means, most people assume alcohol or drugs but as Psychology Today point out (Link 1) ALL addictions have the capacity to induce feelings of shame and guilt, a sense of hopelessness and feelings of failure, that includes substance and behavioural addictions.

As with all addictive behaviours, it's about having a choice; when you're trapped in that life you're not in control, so you do not have a conscious choice and if you can stand back you can see what you're really looking for is pain. Addiction is avoiding pain, which of course we can’t manage because life is painful!

Mindfulness helps us have a different relationship with pain and suffering. This study (Link 2) says Mindfulness helped reduce relapse in people with addictions. The research on this is quite new, but it all looks promising as research has shown that mindfulness training affects areas of the brain associated with craving, negative behaviours and relapse. Mindfulness seems to target the very root of addictive behaviours as shown in the Huffington Post (Link 3)

I for one would not be alive today if it wasn’t for mindfulness and it's amazing ability to wake you up, to show you are truly living, and maybe show you the full horror of your existence; right there is choice.


References

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/addiction/symptoms
  2. https://drugfree.org/learn/drug-and-alcohol-news/mindfulness-meditation-can-help-reduce-addiction-relapse-rates-study/
  3. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mindfulness-based-relapse-prevention-interview_us_5645fd24e4b08cda3488638b

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