Mindfulness Can Support Your Recovery
If you are a person in recovery from a substance use disorder, there is a good chance that you have come across a reference or two to the ways in which the practice of mindfulness can support your recovery.
There is also a good chance that you don’t feel as though you have a firm grip on what mindfulness is and how you might go about practicing it. That’s fair enough.
There are lots of resources—classes, online articles, apps, and more—that can help introduce you to the basics of mindfulness and the ways in which it might support recovery. But sometimes when we are learning something new, it can be comforting to search for information and insight in a book. You can, after all, read (and reread) a book at your own pace. And a book is often able to provide more context, examples, and instructions than can be found in other resources. A book can provide a full meal rather than the bite-sized bits of information we often find elsewhere.
With that in mind, we would like to offer you a few options for taking a deeper dive into what mindfulness practice actually entails and how it might support your recovery.
The Masters: Thich Nhat Hanh & Jon Kabat-Zinn
Thich Nhat Hahn, who recently passed away, and Jon Kabat-Zinn might be thought of as two essential figures in the popularizing of mindfulness practice. In fact, Nhat Hanh, a monk from Vietnam, taught Kabat-Zinn—and it is Kabat-Zinn who is generally credited with bringing mindfulness to the West after it had developed over hundreds of years in the East.
Both men wrote a number of books about mindfulness, but for our purposes here, we will suggest their introductory texts:
- The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment—and Your Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn
In The Miracle of Mindfulness, Nhat Hahn makes the case for integrating mindfulness into our everyday lives by bringing our full attention to whatever task or activity is happening in the present moment. This is different, he suggests, than confining the practice of being mindful to meditation sessions that don’t carry over into our regular activities.
Mindfulness for Beginners is just what it promises: Kabat-Zinn’s effort to invite those who have never experienced mindfulness before to join the many people who experience the benefits of the practice.
The Moderns: Andy Puddicombe & Patrizia Collard
Both Andy Puddicombe (co-founder of the popular Headspace mindfulness app) and Patrizia Collard (an experienced and popular psychotherapist and author) believe that mindfulness practice can be part of everyone’s busy life. While the idea of mindfulness meditation may call to mind marathon sessions of silence in a setting designed to limit distractions, Puddicombe and Collard both argue that it doesn’t have to be that way to be of benefit.
- The Headspace Guide to Mindfulness & Meditation by Andy Puddicombe
- The Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 Minutes a Day to Less Stress, More Peace by Patrizia Collard
Ten minutes a day seems doable, right? And that’s what Puddicombe and Collard are asking for—10 minutes each day devoted to focusing on the present moment rather than ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. The authors make the case that this manageable addition to your daily schedule can lead to measurable reduction in your overall stress levels. This is mindfulness remade for our modern lifestyles.
The Recovery Motivated: Serge Prengel
Serge Prengel has woven mindfulness and 12-Step recovery practices into one, shifting the traditional 12-Step focus on a higher power to a commitment to personal growth.
- The Proactive Twelve Steps for Mindful Recovery by Serge Prengel
Prengel’s book is a good resource for anyone in recovery who is participating in a 12-Step program and who also wants to pursue the benefits of mindfulness practice. Bringing the two concepts together can be a significant benefit for those in recovery from a substance use disorder.
We Are Mindful of What You Need to Regain Your Sobriety
At French Creek Recovery Center, we know that every person’s experience with drugs or alcohol is unique. As a result, we blend our experience and expertise with a commitment to compassion and personalized care. We can help you regain and maintain your sobriety, effectively address co-occurring mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, and give you the support and resources you need to start your recovery journey with confidence. We are mindful of the challenges you face—and we are ready to help you face them successfully.