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How To Use Mindfulness For Teenage Addiction Recovery
While drug addiction among teenagers has been declining throughout the United States, there are still those who need help. Teens who abuse drugs put themselves in a truly hazardous situation as they are transitioning into adults and their behavior during this period of their lives will set the tone for the remainder of it. Therefore, quality teenage addiction recovery is absolutely essential.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the process of one being aware of their physical, mental and emotional experience at the present time while not reacting. It is a treatment approach which has been increasing in popularity over the last few decades. It is possible to develop mindfulness through meditation or greater awareness of oneself at all times. The essential component of this technique is being non-reactionary. To understand mindfulness it is first important to understand the mindset of many teenagers and people in general.
We live in a society where people seek automatic gratification. We want the good things in life, as quickly as possible and with minimal effort. At the same time, we want bad things to go away just as fast. This mindset leads to reactionary thinking and behaviors, and is one of the key reasons why many teens begin using drugs.
Mindfulness Puts You In Touch With The Natural World
Neither nature nor reality rewards those who seek automatic gratification. By developing mindfulness you will learn to respond to your experiences with an attitude which is not judgmental or reactionary. This will allow you to develop greater control over your behavior. For instance, you may not be able to prevent your cravings for drugs, but you can certainly control how you respond to it. Mindfulness teaches you to allow the cravings to appear and then pass without either giving in to it or fighting it. By doing this you will acquire greater self-control.
To begin developing mindfulness effectively, it is important for teens to have a relationship. Many people make the mistake of trying to focus primarily on solutions. While solutions are what we’re looking for, we don’t want to go for it immediately (this in itself is a form of immediate gratification). Instead the teenager should get to know someone that is willing to help them develop greater self-awareness. This will build trust and once that trust develops the solutions will become much easier to implement.
Deep breathing is another important component of mindfulness. It basically requires the practitioner to engage in breathing which is deep and slow. The mind must be focused completely on the breath when doing this (if it begins to wonder put it back on track). Deep breathing has been found to be highly effective because the diaphragm will initiate a nervous system which is parasympathetic and which turns on relaxation.
As a result, many practitioners describe feeling very calm or relaxed once the deep breathing session ends. Some teenagers have referred to it as a natural high, which is interesting due to the fact that the pleasurable effects that many get from drug abuse can be acquired naturally through proper meditation and other techniques. The difference is that they require effort and concentration.