Living in the present moment is one of the most important parts of a lasting recovery. Worrying about past mistakes or looking too far into the future can be overwhelming and stressful. Stress deteriorates your health and increases the risk of relapse. Living in a mindful way means being fully aware of your surroundings, your senses, and your emotions. This holistic practice may not come easy for everyone but can have many benefits, especially during recovery. Living in the present can reduce anxiety, calm the mind, enhance focus, improve relationships, and increase emotional awareness.
Five Ways to Focus on Living in the Present
Living in the present allows you to enjoy what you have in life and helps you understand what is essential. You may discover, as you grow more mindful, things that you once took for granted or didn’t even realize existed. Focusing on the present gives you a new perspective on life and all it has to offer.
When you are recovering from a substance use disorder, taking it one day at a time can make the journey feel less overwhelming. It can help you deal with stress, reduce cravings for drugs or alcohol, and recognize possible triggers. Groups such as Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) affirm that taking life one day at a time makes sobriety more achievable and manageable.
There are endless ways to live in the present. Not every method will work for every person. Try different approaches to discover what works best for you. Five ways to focus on living in the present include:
- Meditation. One of the most valuable tools in addiction recovery is meditation. It not only calms your mind but teaches you to bring your attention to the present moment. When you meditate, you learn to detach from thoughts and focus on the experience of the moment. If you need help getting started, consider downloading an app such as Calm to guide you through the process.
- Exercise. Not only does exercise keep your body fit, but it can also keep your mind healthy. Working out can keep you focused on the moment since it brings awareness to your body and how it is moving. While you exercise, notice each step you take or each movement you make. Yoga is a great form of exercise to consider during recovery since it helps quiet your mind by bringing your attention to the pose you are in and the breaths you are taking.
- Focused breathing. By practicing focused breathing, you can stop what you are doing if your mind begins to wander to the past or the future. This can be done anywhere and at any time. All you need to do is to sit still and focus on each inhale and exhale. Observe each breath you take to keep your mind from wandering off. You can try different breathing exercises throughout the day or whenever you feel the need.
- Be creative. Nothing can keep you more focused on the present than doing something creative. Consider drawing or painting, focusing on the creative process. Each brush stroke or pen stroke can bring your attention to the design you are creating. When you remain focused on your creation, your mind will stay present.
- Enjoy nature. If you catch yourself worrying about the future or dwelling on past mistakes, get outdoors and enjoy nature. Take in the beauty that surrounds you. You can enjoy nature by walking in the woods, hiking in the mountains, relaxing at a park, or simply enjoying the outdoors wherever you may be. When you are out in nature, you can be mindful of your surroundings and focus on the sights and sounds around you.
Mountain Laurel Recovery Center is Here to Help
Are you or a loved one struggling with a substance use disorder and needing help? If so, contact us at Mountain Laurel Recovery Center to assess your condition and create an individualized treatment plan to meet your specific needs. To find out more about what programs and services we have to offer in our Pennsylvania recovery center, contact us online today.