Studies have shown that mindfulness is one of the most powerful ways to decrease stress, addiction, anxiety and depression. Mindfulness diminishes the need to react to every outside stimulus that you encounter. It makes us less defensive. It provides a sense of ongoing peace and well-being.
Mindfulness is the basis of our work at the Kiloby Center for Recovery. Scott Kiloby’s book, “Natural Rest for Addiction,” as well as his Living Inquiries are all about mindfulness.
Mindfulness can be described as the habit of living primarily in the present moment, rather than in the past and future. It is all about being aware of whatever is happening right now. This means being aware of the current thoughts, emotions and sensations that are arising, but in a non-judgmental way. Merely witnessing thoughts, emotions, and sensations takes their power away. For example, the more you are aware of thoughts, emotions and sensations about wanting to use drugs, alcohol, porn or any other addictive substance or activity and merely watch them come and go, in a dispassionate, non-judgmental way, the less likely you are to act out on those addictive thoughts. In fact, mindfulness actually decreases both the cravings for addictive substances and activities as well as the guilt, shame and self-judgment around addiction.
Mindfulness also includes being aware of the current task you are doing in the present moment. For example, if you are washing dishes, be aware of only that action, to the exclusion of everything else. If you are walking, be aware of the movement of your legs and your whole body, to the exclusion of everything else.
Mindfulness is a skill we learn. It is not something we are born with or taught when we are kids. In fact, we are taught to live in our heads, in the past and future. In order to live more mindfully, we develop the skill gradually. It helps to be taught by someone who experiences mindfulness in their everyday life, like a teacher or facilitator.
At the Center, we help clients learn this skill from the moment they first arrive. We continue helping them during their participation in our program. We also provide an aftercare system that helps them continue developing this powerful skill once they leave the Center.
At the Kiloby Center, we have seen many peoples’ lives change just from the development of the practice of mindfulness in their daily lives. If you are interested in this practice and in living a life that is more centered in the here and now, contact the Center for details about our program.