Staying in the present is a concept that you’ll hear people talk about a lot, whether you are in recovery or not. Today, people are learning that focusing on too many things at once can lead to poor mental health. While it is sometimes important to think about the past to figure out how to cope with trauma or avoid making the same mistake, ruminating on events that you can’t change for too long can lead to unnecessary mental stress. The same can also be said for thinking too far ahead in the future. Worrying about things that haven’t happened yet is a sign of anxiety, and bringing your thoughts back to the present can help you get a stronger grip on your emotions. Figuring out how to stay in the present moment during your recovery involves learning a set of techniques that you can use anytime you find your mind drifting off to the past or too far into the future.
It takes time to learn how to stay in the present moment, especially when you’ve spent years thinking too much about other aspects of your life. Fortunately, this is one goal that you don’t have to try to achieve on your own. You’ll find that working with a team of professional therapists and other people who want to learn how to stay in the present makes it easier for you to manage your thoughts. Once you learn how to keep focused on the present, you’ll discover that things such as managing your cravings gets easier. As you start working on this concept, remember to be patient with yourself. Learning anything new takes time, but the effort is worth it when you feel more confident about maintaining your sobriety each day.
Learn How to Use Grounding Techniques During Your Addiction Treatment
Everyone is different, which means that the same method that your best friend uses might not work as well for you. For this reason, addiction treatment programs tend to provide multiple lessons on learning how to stay in the present moment. A few of the most common techniques that you’ll learn in rehab include the following:
- guided meditation
- five-step coping method
- talk therapy
- physical exercises
At first, most people struggle with meditation. You might find that your thoughts tend to veer off in wild directions when you are trying to focus on a single one or nothing at all. Guided meditation helps with this common issue by having a trained support person talk you through how to relax your mind and body. In time, you’ll learn how to meditate on your own, but having help in the early stages makes the process of learning how to do so faster. With some forms of meditating, you might be guided to visualize certain things such as being on a beach soaking up the sunshine. These types of meditations help you to slowly bring your mind back to the present as you leave the meditative state.
The five-step coping method is another great exercise that you can do anywhere. Each of the five steps requires you to use your senses to identify things that are actually happening in your current environment. Drawing your attention to the here and now makes it easier to ignore a craving or turn your thoughts away from anxious ones. For instance, making it clear to yourself that you are in a safe place can help you to calm down if you experience a symptom of PTSD.
Talk therapy serves several purposes for helping you to learn how to stay in the present moment. Talking to your therapist can help you focus on the things that matter in your life right now. They can also help you to identify why a grounding method might not be working and offer suggestions to help you make it more productive. For instance, you might need to change the environment that you meditate in by making it calmer or quieter.
Physical exercises also help you to stay in the present by bringing your attention to your body. The mind and body connection is strong, and doing things such as breathing while you hold a yoga pose can help you to calm down after a negative thought or encounter. As you run, shoot hoops or swim, you also have more opportunities to pay attention to the physical sensations in your environment. Feeling the water splash on your face or hearing your footsteps on the pavement heightens your awareness of the present moment.
Are you curious about how grounding techniques can help you stay sober? We know just the right place to begin mindfulness training. Give us a call today at 833-820-2922. There’s no time like the present to start focusing on your recovery.m