Mindfulness and Treatment of Addiction

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According to the Center on Addiction 1 in 7 people struggle with a substance abuse problem. Addiction plagues so many and is often difficult to treat but there is hope! Studies show that self-awareness, recognition of emotion, and “open-minded consciousness” can help struggling individuals develop the capacity to overcome addiction (Lazar et al. 2005). Mindfulness practices such as meditation, yoga, visualization and recognition of physical sensations can all help to regulate the body and bring awareness into the present. These tools can to curb urges and bring greater awareness to the core causes of addictive behavior. Once an individual is able to identify triggers they can acquire the skills needed to overcome addiction. Mindfulness based treatment for addiction also helps individuals build mind-strength a term coined by Sara Lazar a leading researcher in the field of mindfulness-based practice. Mind-strength helps enhance concentration, decrease stress and boost emotion regulation. All these skills can help to reduce suffering and improve overall psychic health. Mindfulness based therapeutic intervention for addiction can help individuals combat symptoms while also honing skills that will improve day-to-day living.