Study: Mindfulness May Help Reduce Drug and Alcohol Cravings
A new study confirms what many in the field of addiction already know: Mindfulness strategies can help prevent cravings for alcohol, drugs and cigarettes.
Investigators looked at 30 different studies to examine the effects of different types of mindfulness strategies on cravings. According to the research, published in Clinical Psychology Review, mindfulness strategies interrupting cravings that so-often lead to relapse by loading working memory, which is a part of short-term memory concerned with immediate conscious perceptual and linguistic processing.
“The research suggests that certain mindfulness-based strategies may help prevent or interrupt cravings by occupying a part of our mind that contributes to the development of cravings,” said Dr. Katy Tapper, author of the review and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at City, University of London, in a statement. “However, there is also some evidence to suggest that engaging in regular mindfulness practice may reduce the extent to which people feel the need to react to their cravings, though further research is needed to confirm such an effect,” she said.
How Can Mindfulness Meditation Work for You?
Mindfulness strategies can help you to become more aware of bodily sensations, better accept uncomfortable feelings and view your thoughts and emotions without judging them. Try it: Here are some mindfulness strategies from the National Institutes of Health:
• Mindful breathing. Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for 1 second and then exhale through the mouth to a count of 5. Repeat often throughout the day.
• Mindful walking. Note your breath as well as the sights and sounds around you. If negative thoughts and worries enter your mind during your stroll, simply acknowledge them and quickly return to the present.
• Mindful eating. Take a bite and focus on the taste, textures and flavors of the food. Also, listen to your body to tell when you are hungry or full.
Wellness Programs at Seabrook
We offer our clients a variety of wellness programs, including mindfulness meditation, yoga, sleep hygiene and stress management, along with our traditional addiction treatment. To learn more, call today: 800-761-7575.