Episode 16 – The Mindfulness Approach to Addiction Recovery

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Podcast Episode 16 – Mindfulness Approach for Addiction Recovery

The topic at one glance

  • People have known for thousands of years that mindfulness can be a useful tool for improving mental health.

  • Most of our suffering arises due to our relationship with thoughts (e.g. craving).

  • Addiction involves the brain ‘tricking us’ – mindfulness works by allowing us to see the trick.

  • Once we discover the well-being available through mindfulness, we find a better solution to life than drugs.

Hope Mindful Compassion Show – Episode 16 – Paul Explains the Mindfulness Approach to Addiction Recovery and Obsessive thinking

A conversation between  Paul Garrigan and Simon Mott
Mindfulness at Hope

In this episode of the podcast, Paul talks about the aims, history, and usefulness of our mindfulness program at Hope. Developing a new relationship with our thinking is not only helpful for overcoming addiction but also improving our mental health.

Some of the topics covered include:

  • Is mindfulness a new approach?
  • How has mindfulness become so popular in the west?

  • Is mindfulness religious?

  • Why is mindfulness useful for people with addiction problems?
  • How do we introduce mindfulness to clients at rehab?
  • What are the four steps of the mindfulness program?

  • How can mindfulness be used to manage addiction cravings?

  • Can mindfulness be practiced by someone in withdrawals?

  • How do clients continue with mindfulness once they go home?

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  • Reverse-snobbery (e.g. believing educated people had no common sense)

  • Pre-emptive ending of relationships if I felt there was a risk of rejection

  • Ignoring people if I suspected they might ‘look down’ on me

  • Always ‘doing my own thing’ even when it meant being lonely

These strategies may have seemed to work at the time, but it also meant damaging my relationships. It meant I didn’t develop long-lasting friendships, and I never felt fully comfortable around even those I considered friends. My reaction to the fear of rejection impoverished my life, and I could never find peace until I found better strategies for dealing with it.

How to Deal with the Pain of Rejection

The following two strategies allowed me to better deal with the fear of rejection

  • Self-soothing the somatic feeling of rejection when it arises and not getting lost in the story of what has triggered it

  • Realizing that it is far more important for me to like others than for them to like me

I will go into more detail about these strategies in the next post.