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Can Mindfulness Help You Abstain from Alcohol?

27 days ago 0 11140 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0


Mindfulness can be helpful to our overall mental health. Did you know it can also help us quit drinking?

Please have a read and share your thoughts. What is your experience with mindfulness? How can you or do you practice mindfulness? How can you work it into you daily routine?


8 years ago 0 3 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
I too have done an MBSR course, the contents of which changed my life irrevocably. I'm using it again in my strategy to cut down on my drinking. Cannot recommend mindfulness enough! 
Along with John Kabat Zinn, I highly recommend Jack Kornfield and Pema Chodron.
Yours in awareness, 
8 years ago 0 1009 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Thank you very much for the references Mcaodha. Very much appreciated and I'm looking forward to reading the books and taking a run at the meditations. It looks like a good fit and well worth the time to put into it.

And "Thank you" Ashley for starting a great topic.

Best regards,

8 years ago 0 51 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Thanks Dave, its a course is called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), we attend class for 2.5 hours for 8 weeks, for practice and we get CD's and homework to do!
The material comes from the following books if your interested
  •  Jon Kabat-Zinn book is called the 'Full Catastrophe Living' Piatkus: London 1996.
  • Mark Williams and Danny Penman, ' Mindfulness, a practical guide to finding peace in a Frantic World- a CD comes with this book.
  • a third book was recommended by Jon Kabat Zinn is 'Wherever you go there you are'- mindfulness meditation in everyday life.
if there is anything else you would like just let me know
8 years ago 0 1009 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
I totally agree. Mindfulness has been an integral part of me moving past alcohol abuse, especially at the front end of the process. Rather than work against any anxiety, discomfort, cravings, or fear of quitting, I embraced them and tried to immerse myself in the moment. They are only feelings of discomfort and they cannot hurt you. Yes, they can be really uncomfortable at times, but hey, not as bad as the hangovers! Now that was bad! They are challenges that deserve to be crushed into submission, and every success builds to the next.
Great post Ashley. Mindfulness is key to developing the new habits of choice and goes a long way.
mcaodha, great post as well. I very much enjoyed reading it and you provided a lot of excellent strategies that will help a lot. Thank you! What program is it if you don't mind me asking.

8 years ago 0 51 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Yes Ashley it can, I am just completing an 8 week course in and am learning to train the mind to focus and finding ways of dissolving the habits that drive much of my behavior. This learning along with the support I get from using this site has helped me so much to stay sober, 13 weeks yesterday!
I would like to share some of the things I have learnt on the course if thats ok
  • i start the day with a 30 minute body scan, you can get one on youtube
  •  i eat one meal mindfully,
  •  choose one routine such as having a shower, brushing my teeth and mindfully do it,
  •  try a habit releaser such as sitting in a different place at home etc. 
The most benefit i get is from the Breath, noticing how it changes with mood, short and slow when i am anxious, angry, we don't have to control it just observe it, it can help us with our stresses, pain, for each in breath i am acknowledging what is happening in the present moment and on breathing out i am letting go my fears and anger. this helps to be more aware, its not giving you a break or diversion from reality but gives you a way of re-engaging with it. there are also 3 minute breathing exercises that can be used which helps to anchor you and be a haven,, but more importantly letting you be an impartial witness to your own experience resulting in being non judging.
Another useful exercise I found is the Pleasant and Unpleasant Events Calender.
  • what is the experience 
  • were you aware of the pleasant/unpleasant feelings while the event was happening
  • how did your body feel during this experience? were you short of breath, tense in you shoulders, knot in your belly
  • what thoughts and images accompanied this event? Im in trouble, what excuse can i use
  • what moods, feelings emotions accompanied this event? angry with myself, anxious with others reactions
  • what thoughts are in your mind as you write about this event? it was never worth what i do to myself
  • This allows us to tease apart the 2 main sources of suffering, Primary  which is for example being stuck in traffic, Secondary which is all of the emotional turbulence that follows, such as anger, frustration as well as any thoughts and feelings that arise. STAND TALL, BREATH, ALLOW, BE THERE. THIS MOMENT TOO, IS A MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE. you may still feel some frustration etc,but its less likely to spiral out of control, and you may even become an oasis of stillness for yourself and those around you.
8 years ago 0 11140 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Mindfulness is a technique that can be helpful for depression, anxiety, anger, stress management chronic pain and even addiction. When people practice mindfulness regularly it can actually change how the brain works. According to a new study an alcohol abuse treatment that incorporates mindfulness is more successful then traditional treatment alone. To read the entire article here is the url:
To practice mindfulness when you are experiencing a craving try using the acronym RAIN:
Recognize the craving that is arising, and relax into it.
Accept this moment. Don’t ignore it, distract yourself, or try to do something about it.
Investigate the experience as it builds. Ask yourself, “What is happening in my body right now?”
Note what is happening. As you note pressure, dullness, tightness, or whatever, it becomes clear that these are nothing more than body sensations. You don’t have to act on them. You can simply ride out the sensations until they subside.
Give it a try and let us know what you notice.
Ashley. Health Educator

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