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Ever noticed that you are doing something and can’t remember how you started doing it, or why you were doing it? We will often develop habits that we don’t consciously know we are doing. This is very much part of being human. However, this is also part of the addictive behaviours that recovery teaches us are dangerous. Not being aware of what is happening around us and how this affects us can lead to cravings being triggered by something we aren’t even aware of. Not ‘being aware’ can lead you down unintended dark paths and this can cause undue stress in our recovery.

Being ‘PRESENT’ is something we all think we do, but in actual fact it is something that many of us aren’t doing effectively. But what is does ‘being present’ mean? Put simply, it means living in the moment…being aware of what we are experiencing. In other words, being mindful of our thoughts, emotions and behaviours. Being MINDFUL, or practising MINDFULNESS can help you deal with those unexpected triggers and the ensuing cravings. Being MINDFUL is one of the best tools you can include in your recovery plan as it can help you with being more focused, and this can lower your stress levels and help you build a strong recovery.

Recovery can be a difficult road often littered with obstacles (such as triggers, cravings, conflict) that can cause us a lot of stress. If you tend to go through recovery on ‘auto-pilot’, you will miss many of the important signs of impending relapse. Practising MINDFULNESS can teach you to be fully aware of what is happening within us, as well as around us. This can help you to develop those all-important coping skills you need in your recovery.

But how do we practise mindfulness?
Well, you have to begin. Then you have to keep practicing and then you have to be focused. Take a seat, or kneel in a quiet place. Be aware of your body and your breathing. Be aware if, and when, your mind starts to wander. When your mind has wandered, don’t be too hard on yourself…just bring your thoughts back to the ‘now’!

Practising MINDFULNESS can teach you to be more aware of what is happening inside you, and around you – this can only help you on your recovery journey.