Guest Blog: Clinical Director Daylene Marshall
Faris Recovery Center & NERC Residential Treatment Program
One piece of advice given to those working towards recovery from an addiction is to stay busy. We encourage our clients to explore new hobbies, get creative, read, stay fit and make new friends to develop a healthy and happy environment, but what happens to your mind when you are alone and those activities and friends are unavailable in the moment? Quieting oneself, often an uncomfortable practice for those in early treatment, becomes easier over time, allowing for eventual healing and personal growth.
We incorporate time for reflection into all our groups and every day throughout treatment. Each morning begins with a request for thoughtful consideration about each person’s goal for the day, and every evening ends with a reflection on how the day unfolded and what each person learned from their experiences.
It’s also important that clients have unstructured time each day, dedicated to self-reflection. Clients may be asked to simply close their eyes and listen deeply to a piece of music or to a speaker. During these times, some individuals struggle more than others to remain engaged, but generally, these are incredibly powerful opportunities for developing the skills needed for recovery. Journaling is also highly encouraged, and many clients use this time to jot down their thoughts and then may choose to share them with the group.
Addiction Network suggests that those engaging in self-reflection think about key influences that they have the ability to control, such as:
– Being able to recognize your own mistakes
– Creating a better definition of your personal values
– Recognizing the intuition to know when life is going in an unwanted direction
– Being able to identify strengths and weaknesses and make the decision to take action
– Developing empathy
The purpose of these practices is to increase the likelihood of clients achieving long-term recovery. Promoting clients’ awareness of their thoughts and feelings, then helping them express those internal experiences in a productive form through writing, artwork, movement or words, and finding that they are safe in those moments, allows clients the ability to navigate those thoughts and emotions once they leave our addiction treatment environment.
Belief in one’s ability to experience difficulty and persevere is an essential component to sustaining recovery. Mindfulness and reflection don’t stop at the end of treatment, however. It’s important to continue self-reflection in your everyday life, thus, creating a healthy, happy and mindful existence.
If you or someone you love needs help and support for an addiction, the New England Recovery Center is here to help. Our individualized services provide the support you need when you need it. Learn more on this website or call us at (844) 233-6372 for more information.