Some information on mindfulness by Hilary Driscoll and Dr. Loveland-
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the ability to focus on an experience and all aspects of that
experience. It is the ability to step outside of judgment and just be with the
experience, being aware and accepting of the moment.
How can mindfulness be helpful in my recovery?
Practicing mindfulness can help you get in touch with your experiences
without becoming overwhelmed by them. It can help you develop acceptance,
attention and focus on your experiences. Often, intense emotions (e.g.
depression, anxiety, urges to use) take over our focus and dull our observation
of the environment. The goal of mindfulness is to help you:
* increase your tolerance for and acceptance of strong emotions that everyone
experiences, but are unpleasant, such as frustration, sadness, anxiety or anger;
* manage emotions, such as guilt or shame, from your past experiences that
undermine your ability to achieve your goals;
* tolerate chronic physical pain from an injury or disease; or
* effectively control urges to use alcohol, cigarettes or other drugs
How do I get started?
Mindfulness exercises are easy to practice and take only 5 to 10 minutes to
complete. Starting a mindfulness routine is like starting any exercise routine:
start slow and easy and increase your time over several exercises.
Start any mindfulness exercise by setting aside a few minutes when you are
feeling a strong, but negative emotion, such as anger, depression, anxiety, or
an urge to use alcohol and other drugs. It is okay to try it out for 3 to 5
minutes the first time (longer, if you feel that is helpful) and keep adding a
minute or two during each session. The goal is to reach about 10 minutes,
although you can practice the exercise for longer, if it feels helpful and
* Set aside time to practice daily
* Find a place without distraction (e.g., close the door, turn off the TV
& stereo, place your phone on silent ring)
* Focus on one element at a time (at least at the beginning)
* Be non judgmental
* Use all of your senses
Free Mindfulness Exercises on the Web
You can watch videos of mindfulness exercises on the web for free at
Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22
Melbourne Mindfulness Center
Free Mindfulness http://www.freemindfulness.org/download
Let us know how it works for you!
Corey Campbell is a clinician/trainer with the Human Service Center of Peoria, IL. All thoughts on this blog are representative of only Corey and do not reflect the Human Service Center.