Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mindfulness?

Being mindful is being present in this moment - with acceptance.

Practicing mindfulness is especially good for us addicts and alcoholics. And why so?

It's good for us because it teaches us to pay attention to our thought stream.

Instead of always running from who we are, we look at our thoughts. They may be judgmental. They may be ugly. They may be wonderful. Whatever they are we look at them, accept them, and let them pass.

The practice works like this. We find a quiet place where we won't be distracted for ten to twenty minutes. We seat ourselves in a comfortable position on a cushion or chair, with our spine erect.

Next we focus on our breathing, maybe at the point where it enters and leaves the nostrils. Then we follow the breath.

Soon we'll realize that our mind has wandered. It has slipped into the ongoing narrative that races through our minds. We gently and lovingly bring out focus back to the breath. And we repeat the process during the time we're sitting.

What does this do for us? This practice lets us realize that we're not our thoughts. That they just pop up at random, without any encouragement from us. This helps us to know ourselves better. And to not identify with the anger, jealousy, rage, resentment, fear and other thoughts we may encounter.

We can compare our mind to a television screen, with our thoughts being what's playing on the screen.

Some 10,000 studies over the past 30 years prove the benefits. Mindfulness is as effective, or more so, that depression medication. It shows benefits in lower blood pressure, stress reduction, increased clarity and much more.

Go to this website for more free information on mindfulness and its benefits.

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