It’s a frantic life. You rush through the day, multi-tasking your way at home and at office. You make the bed while keeping an eye on the kids, the other eye on the TV…
At office, you are checking emails, responding to phone calls and checking on your team while trying to meet a deadline on the project world. In your rush to complete various tasks, you may find that your personal connection with the present moment is lost – you are actually missing out on what you are doing and how you are feeling. Did you fully feel that you are well-rested when you get up in the morning? Did you notice and appreciate the rose bloom in your home garden while you were on your way out for work?
In case of addicts and alcoholics, their daily life is a rush of chasing their obsessions and compulsions. Their normal emotions are replaced by fast-moving and overwhelming negative emotions such as anger, fears, resentment and euphoria.
Mindfulness – focusing on the ‘here & now’
Mindfulness is the practice of consciously focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment. Mindfulness has been examined scientifically and has been found to be a key element in happiness. It is proven to be very useful for persons with obsessive-compulsive issues – addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling and internet.
From ancient roots to contemporary science
Most religions include some form of prayer or meditation technique that helps shift a person’s focus from daily preoccupations toward an appreciation of the moment and a larger perspective on life. It is an essential first step on the ‘spiritual’ path that enhances equanimity and happiness. Mindfulness has roots in Buddhism.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor emeritus and founder director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, played an important role in bringing the practice of mindfulness meditation into mainstream medicine and demonstrated that practicing mindfulness can bring improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms as well as positive changes in health, attitudes and behaviors.
Mindfulness has proven to be vastly useful in treatment of various ailments, including addictions. Rehabilitation facilities are increasingly using this technique in facilitating recovery from substance abuse.