What is mindfulness therapy? The 11th step in every 12-step addiction recovery program asks a recovering addict to meditate and engage in mindfulness. This is in order to gain an understanding of the plan that a higher power has established for the addict’s life. Addicts who do not believe in or acknowledge God’s existence or the presence of any higher power outside of their lives will often bristle at the concept of connecting to a higher power in this and other steps of a 12-step recovery program. Addiction recovery is not about finding religion or asking to be saved. Nonetheless, references to God or to some other higher power in a recovery program are crucial to the success of that program.
What Is Mindfulness Therapy in Addiction Recovery?
What is mindfulness? When you are in a 12-step addiction recovery program, with patience and practice you will come to understand that step 11 has two components: mindfulness, and using that mindfulness to connect to a presence outside of and apart from yourself. Mindfulness is defined as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.” Recovering alcoholics and drug addicts are asked to practice mindfulness daily through prayer or meditation. If you have ever been to a yoga class, you may have heard the instructor teach the concept of living in the moment. The stresses and distractions of our daily lives prevent us from focusing on the present as we are constantly pulled in multiple directions by family and job pressures. The intent of mindfulness practice is to teach people to turn off those distractions and thoughts of future commitments, even for a short time, and to allow people simply to enjoy and absorb sensations of the present moment in time.
How to Practice Mindfulness
When you understand what is mindfulness, you need to learn how to practice it. Practicing mindfulness then takes a person away from focusing on himself. Instead, he must think of matters outside of his immediate existence. Drug addicts and alcoholics who have already adopted a spiritual practice will use mindfulness to work toward an understanding of how their existence and presence fits into the greater tapestry of humanity. People who trend more toward agnosticism or atheism will gain a better appreciation for their role in their social networks and professions as they move away of focusing on themselves and their addiction problems. Whether you consider this a connection to a higher power or to some other invisible mechanism that establishes concord within society, your understanding and appreciation of that higher power will give you strength to continue with your recovery.
The 12 Step Program
The eleventh step of any 12-step program will not have a definite beginning and end. Many recovering alcoholics and addicts begin meditating or praying early in their recovery processes and continue meditating or praying as they move into step 11. Most or all recovering addicts use daily meditation and prayer as recovery tools long after they put their addictions behind them. Connecting to a higher power is not something that happens once and continues forever. Regardless of whether you are a recovering addict or alcoholic, your connection to a higher power will get stronger and create greater benefits in your life as you strive to make those connections every day.
Recovery at the Last Resort
Addicts and alcoholics who reject the 12 step recovery program because they are uncomfortable with the perceived religious or theological aspects of those programs are doing a great disservice for themselves. Aspects of mindfulness therapy help everyone, regardless of their religion or theology.If you have questions about what is mindfulness therapy or connections to your higher power, or about other aspects of 12-step recovery programs, please contact the Last Resort Recovery Center near Austin at (512) 750-6750. Our admissions team is ready to help you find the mens addiction treatment programs that work best for your mens rehab experience.