What is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction?

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Recovery can be stressful at times, leaving you feeling stuck with no clue where to go. It is easy to get trapped in your head, not able to take a step back and see the bigger picture. To help with this, treatment facilities such as Everlast Recovery Centers use a technique called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). By learning to be more mindful, you can teach yourself to be present at the moment and manage feelings of stress and anxiety. MBSR is also a great way to help recovery by managing cravings and alleviating urges.

Defining Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

MBSR is a treatment approach that addresses thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that you may be unaware of that cause stress and health problems. Through the practice, yoga and meditation are combined along with other forms of stress reduction techniques. MBSR typically takes eight weeks, teaching its participants how to alleviate feelings of stress and practice mindfulness. The method was initially created in the 1970s by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and has grown in popularity since. MBSR is best for those struggling with:

  • Mental health disorders
  • Substance use disorder
  • Trauma
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Headaches
  • Stress

MSBR can also be used to help anybody who needs to slow down and practice being aware of themselves and their environment. 

How Does MBSR Work?

During the eight-week program, participants of MBSR will meet once a week to engage in a mixture of yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness activities. The goal is to help individuals become more aware of their internal and external environments to be more calm and relaxed. 

What Are the Benefits of MBSR?

Those participating in an MBSR course will find numerous benefits as a result of their participation in the program. There are potential health benefits, stress management, and more. 

Stress Management

MBSR is excellent for combatting stress because of its use of stress reduction techniques. If you are feeling overwhelmed, this course can help you learn to cope with negative feelings or thoughts at the moment to help your emotional regulation better. MBSR can also help reduce your anxiety levels. 

Better Sleep

Mindfulness helps you sleep better because it teaches your brain how to relax and reduce the number of stress hormones being created. After each session, you will feel more at peace and calm, allowing you to sleep better at night, feeling more refreshed each day. 

Improved Cognition

Those who practice mindfulness are often sharper, have better memory, and better express themselves. Over time, you will begin to see improvements in your cognition, such as increased mood, better memory, verbal fluency, and visual coding. 

Pain Relief

Individuals with chronic pain can often find that pain improves as they progress through the MBSR course. As you meditate, you become more aware of how you are feeling and where you are feeling it, and this awareness can bring you more peace in life.

How Does Stress Affect Recovery?

Stress affects your mental and physical health, which can hinder your recovery from substance abuse. Common effects of stress include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Higher risk of heart attack or stroke 
  • Sexual/reproductive problems 
  • Back pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Coronary arterial disease

While these side effects are unpleasant on their own, they can be especially harmful to your recovery. As you work to heal yourself inside and out, stress can be a powerful opponent standing in your way. Stress can impact your brain functions, causing you to be more likely to develop or maintain an addiction over time. Stress is a common relapse trigger – as those in recovery experience these feelings, they may feel inclined to use drugs or alcohol to relieve them. Those in recovery need to learn stress reduction techniques to avoid the risk of relapse the best they can. 

How Does MBSR Help Addiction Recovery?

Many treatment programs for individuals struggling with addiction use MBSR to help cultivate healing. Those that have gone through addiction know the role that stress can play in driving it. In recovery, stress is a common relapse trigger, which is why programs like MBSR are crucial to helping people maintain their sobriety. As a person becomes more stressed, they may feel that the only way to cope is by turning to drugs or alcohol. MBSR offers another option, helping the individuals stop and breathe, bringing awareness to what they feel to acknowledge it and then let it go. 

Stress is one of the biggest enemies of addiction recovery, often leading to a loss of hope and possible relapse. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a treatment approach used by many facilities across the US, such as Everlast Recovery Centers, helps residents cope with stress and anxiety as they go through their treatment program. MBSR combines yoga, meditation, and other stress-reduction approaches and techniques to help bring a sense of relaxation and calmness to its participants. There are many benefits of MSBR, such as improved sleep, pain relief, stress management, and enhanced cognition. Everlast Recovery Centers uses MBSR because we recognize its benefits for our clients who have struggled with substance use disorder and mental health disorders. We believe that through mindfulness techniques, a greater sense of calm can be brought to those that need it most. At Everlast Recovery Centers, you’ll find a welcoming environment where we’ll help you safely and comfortably detoxify your body and mind from drug addiction and alcohol addiction. Call us today at 866-DETOX-25 to learn more about MSBR. 

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