Using Mindfulness Techniques in Substance Abuse Treatment


If there is an opposite of addiction, it might be mindfulness. While addiction often involves running from feelings and numbing pain, mindfulness involves learning to stay with and accept pain and discomfort. Practicing mindfulness skills during treatment can help maintain sobriety beyond treatment.

We can apply mindfulness to any activity at any time during the day. We can drive mindfully and do household chores mindfully—meaning we are keenly focused on what we are doing at the moment. We can practice mindfulness in the shower, during a walk, in a park, at work, during exercise, in a store, in the doctor’s office, in the waiting room, while dressing, while playing or drawing, etc. When we find feelings of guilt about the past or anxiety about the future creep in or unwanted thoughts, memories or cravings, we gently redirect our focus to the here and now.

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