The high-performing athlete concentrates on and practices physical and mental requirements to achieve success. The serious student blocks off time to pay attention to and study necessary subject matter to gain specialized knowledge. An accomplished musician shuts out distractions and focuses on the task at hand, allowing herself to become immersed in music. A master plumber is mindful of a plumbing problem and moves into a different state of mind to find a solution.
More and more people have discovered that life in general in improved by practicing what’s called mindfulness. Below is a brief description from Mindful.org:
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Applied to addiction treatment and recovery, mindfulness is a therapeutic tool to ease anxiety, alleviate stress and remove blocks that prevent growth. Many of us live in constant distraction, dealing with situations throughout the day, hardly ever stopping to become mindful and pay attention to our emotions, thoughts and actions. Sometimes, when I stop to purposefully meditate and become mindful of what’s going on inside, I realize how tense I am, how I’m lingering in anger over something that happened days ago, how I feel anxious yet there’s no rational reason to be anxious. When you feel like a pinball in a pinball machine, it might be time to stop and become mindful. Meditation and mindfulness are especially helpful to the recovering addict early in recovery when everything is usually changing fast, confusing and tense.
There are certain skills that lead to a less stressful life, that help us deal with anger, that lessen anxiety, that help us connect better to others, etc. Just like the accomplished athlete, musician, student or plumber, living well requires knowledge, understanding, focus, paying attention to what’s going on in our brains, our bodies, and what happening with our emotions. There’s no universal way to meditate or practice mindfulness, but there’s lots of literature on the subject — as they say, Google it.
Science will gradually discover how meditation and mindfulness act on the brain to help with depression, anxiety and resentment, but people who’ve meditated and practiced mindfulness in one way or another for thousands of years just did it and it worked.