We can have so many hopes for a New Year and set admirable resolutions- however, we often find ourselves very quickly in the familiar unwanted territory as addiction is immune to the restart of our calendar.
We can end up feeling overwhelmed, powerless and frustrated on a daily basis fighting with each other and ourselves and as the new year continues on we can be left feeling as though nothing will ever change.
The one thing we can begin to change however is our minds.
We have thousands of thoughts per day, most are not accurate and many are negative and self-depreciating, these thoughts inhibit change, forgiveness and put our wellbeing at risk. The antidote to this is mindfulness, basically gaining back control over your mind and leading it to a healthier balanced place.
I would like to share with you a very simple mindfulness practice.
- get comfy: find yourself a comfortable position ( you do not need to be sitting on the floor with your legs crossed ) just a supported position that you can easily maintain comfortably for a few minutes
- breathe: place one hand on your heart centre and one hand on your belly. Now concentrate your attention to your belly and as you breathe in be aware of it inflating like a balloon slowly moving up your chest expanding your rib cage and filling your heart space. then gently breathe out.
- be curious: can you feel the coolness of your breathe your fill your nostrils and the warmth of it as you exhale ?. Is your breath even or uneven, is the speed constant or is it slowing down, are your in breaths and out breaths the same length? no need to change anything just simply being an observer to your breath, the rhythmic nature of it like the ocean swelling and retreating.
- be focused: watch your mind as it naturally will pull you away from the simplicity of your breath informing you of tasks memories and emotions, when you notice this simply smile acknowledge where you have drifted to and deliberately return your mind to your breathing. ( this is way harder than it sounds, so be kind to yourself)
- just be: inhale the present fully and exhale the past completely. in and out, in and out, in and out………
Practice this short breathing meditation whenever you have a spare few minutes, the wonderful thing about this is you can practice anywhere. Over time the act of being aware of what is happening within you will become habitual. Then when you find yourself in a train of thought that does not serve you, you will be able to take a conscious moment of breathing and return with clarity to the present moment.
Our thoughts determine the quality of our lives and therefore the quality of our recovery
Remember the most influential person you will talk to today is yourself.
- Affected by a loved one or partner’s substance abuse?
- About Araluen Clarke – Addiction Recovery Specialist
- Substance Abuse? Is Your Substance Use Impacting your Life?
- The A Word
- Recovery is a process- the nature of change