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Finding Happiness in the Present Moment

One of the greatest roadblocks in recovery is fear. We tend to allow our fears of the future overwhelm us. We see a lifetime of sobriety as a daunting task and fear it is too much for us. However, if we are free of our fears of what may or may not occur, we are much more likely to be able to enjoy the present moment and feel serenity.

Doing our best to live in the present moment allows us to be free of unnecessary fear, stress, and anxiety. The Positive Psychology Program explains, “The benefits include greater effectiveness in action and an inner silence and an enhanced ability to cope with stress. If life is 10 percent experience and 90 percent responding to that experience, living in the present can make the process of responding that much less stressful. Living in the present moment encourages an attitude of surrender and acceptance of the constant reality shift of one’s surroundings. As stress is very largely a result of resisting the present, an attitude of letting things go can be helpful.” When we are able to be fully engaged in the present moment, we are at less risk of falling victim to the fight-or-flight stress response that could lead to poor decision-making and subsequent negative consequences.

Neuroscientist Sam Harris, in his book Waking Up, explains that “there is an enormous difference between being hostage to one’s thoughts and being freely and nonjudgmentally aware of life in the present. To make this shift is to interrupt the processes of rumination and reactivity that often keep us so desperately at odds with ourselves and with other people,” and, because of this, “meditation is simply the ability to stop suffering in many of the usual ways, if only for a few moments at a time.” When we are able to achieve a state of awareness without judgment, we will find that we are washed over with a sense of serenity and peace—all the feelings of stress and anxiety that have been controlling our actions leave us. Harris further explains that mindfulness meditation “improves immune function, blood pressure, and cortisol levels; it reduces anxiety, depression, neuroticism, and emotional reactivity. It also leads to greater behavioral regulation and has shown promise in the treatment of addiction and eating disorders. Unsurprisingly, the practice is associated with increased subjective well-being.” Given all the benefits, many of which relate directly to common problems in early sobriety, present moment awareness and mindfulness may be a great practice to take up.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction. You can make the courageous decision to seek help now and begin building a brighter future in sobriety. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers a high quality and stress-free residential treatment program that includes medically-supported detoxification, maintenance care, individual therapies, counseling (including family therapy), and plans to help clients build life skills that will help them after discharge. For more information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431