What is Mindfulness?
Are you feeling high levels of stress? Do you experience high levels of anxiety? Does depression take up space in your mind? At Addiction Rehab Toronto, we utilize and teach an array of mindful techniques and approaches to address addiction, stress, anxiety, depression and other forms of mental health issues. Mindfulness is a tool to help reduce anxiety, depression, stress, and worries.
Mindfulness or mindfulness therapy is a non-judgmental awareness of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of an individual. Mindfulness is an effective tool of recovery for those suffering from substance dependency, addiction, harmful addictive behaviors, and substance abuse. It can look, feel and be experienced differently for everyone. It is a skill honed for thousands of years from many religions including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam.
Mindfulness is good for reducing the potential of major depressive episodes, anxiety, chronic pain, increase tolerance of distressing situations, increased relaxation, and increase tolerance to use coping skills in difficult situations. It is intertwined in every part of our programming treatment plan we provide for individuals.
The mindfulness method, developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and others, uses the previously arcane techniques of meditation, breathing practices, yoga poses, and body scanning to acquire skills in “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” With our onsite therapists, counsellors, fitness instructors – there are many opportunities for individuals to find out what type of mindfulness works for them.
Mindfulness at Addiction Rehab Toronto
There are many different types of skills an individual mindfulness skills, exercise, and other coping strategies learned and practiced at Addiction Rehab Toronto. For example, we often promote the ODP method or Observe, Describe and Participate method. It is used to OBSERVE – noticing how physical sensations, noticing the breath, and noticing thoughts ensembling in the mind. DESCRIBE – articulating the experience through word of mouth, art, music, movement or writing. PARTICIPATE – the act of breathing techniques, allowing the self to get in touch with the body, mind and soul.
Type of Mindfulness
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Mindfulness meditation
- Guided Meditation Mindfulness
- Observing the Breath:
- Deep breathing
- Belly breathing
- Counting your breath
- Following the breath with music
- Guided Body Scans
- Self Affirmations
- Mindful Walks
- Mindful Eating
- Mindful Reading
- Mindful Writing
- One-on-One Counselling
- Psychotherapist sessions
- Music Therapy
- Self-Love group
- Culinary Therapy
- Art Therapy
- Spa services
- Maui Thai
- Onsite gym
- Onsite library
- Outdoor campfire
- Feelings Wheel
Mindfulness and Addiction Recovery
Within active addiction and alcohol abuse, our brain function is continuously being impaired. It can directly or indirectly target the brain’s reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates emotions, movement, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. Your brain is wired to ensure that we will repeat life-sustaining activities by associating those activities with pleasure or rewards. But the brain will react to the overwhelming surges of dopamine: by producing less dopamine or by reducing the number of received signals – this is why people feel “lifeless” or “depressed” and there is a need to reach that dopamine feeling again. It becomes a vicious cycle, the chemicals tap into the communication system and interfere with the way neurons normally send, receive and process information.
Through mindfulness, we can reprogram and repair the damage done through active addiction. Biologically, mindfulness helps us through the moments of struggle, white knuckling and stressful situations. It allows our brain to be free, and create happiness in a therapeutic, gentle and holistic manner. It can help restructure the brain to effectively and productively regulate emotion, homeostasis, decision-making, memory, attention and cognitive control.
Mindfulness can also allow an individual to venture on a quest of self-understanding. These moments can provide reflection of why, how, when, where and what’s of addiction. Mindfulness brings a sense of freedom and emancipation from dark thoughts and feelings evoked through active addiction. With continued practice of mindfulness can help individuals notice patterns of negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This can be an effective tool of noticing triggers, relapse-potentials, ease moments of cravings through mindful exercises and cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety and depression.
Mindfulness can help by:
- Lessen the amount of stress, anxiety, worriedness, and hostility.
- Coping strategies for those living with dual diagnosis and concurrent disorders.
- Awakening to present-moment experience.
- Expand feelings of self-acceptance.
- Put the attention to include all physical and mental events that are experienced (e.g. bodily sensations, emotions and thoughts).
Mindfulness and the Self
Mindfulness can help an individual find a sense of self-awareness, self-acceptance and general well-being. Which ultimately can support an individual to pay attention to their needs, their thoughts, their feelings and bring a sense of acceptance. At Addiction Rehab Toronto, we provide mindfulness based stress reduction, opportunities to learn cognitive behavioural therapy, and other mindful ways through depression and anxiety.