Category Archives: Lifestyle Balance

Mindfulness

Posted on September 9, 2014

What is Mindfulness?
-Don Sheeley, MD, SMART Recovery Facilitator

What is MindfulnessI use the term “Mindfulness” to mean Active Self-Awareness.

We can be aware of our internal thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, and we can be aware of the interaction of ourselves with the external world (sight, sound, touch, taste, feel). We can be aware that we take in sights and sounds, etc. from the external world and process them and apply our internal thoughts and beliefs to them. Then we can become aware that there is someone who is aware of all that, and that guy is Me, the same me who was 12 years old, then 29, and now 62. (Yikes!) That’s it.

So we’re not really “aware of others.” We are aware that we hear what another says and then we are aware of what we think about that and how we feel about that, and maybe we are aware of how we process that.

Similarly, mindfulness is not necessarily placid, comfortable, or relaxed. Continue reading

At Risk for Relapse?

Posted on September 2, 2014

7 Risk factors for relapse
-Bill Abbott, SMART Recovery® Facilitator

7 Risks for Relapse

Over the course of time I’ve observed several sets of circumstances that seem to increase the risk of a person with an addictive problem to sustain a relapse – that is, falling back to the former behavior. I must honestly state that this is an observational piece and I am not sure that there is any science behind it. Nevertheless it certainly does make sense that some of these circumstances do heighten the risk for  a temporary or even permanent stepping out of the stages-of-change process which we call addiction recovery.

7 Risk Factors for Relapse

      Fantasy
      Rumination
      Boredom
      Persisting Frustration
      Intense Emotion
      Social Disconnection
      Opportunity

    What follows is a short description of each of these.

    Fantasy By this I mean thinking about a possible future scenario Continue reading

    SMART Handbook for Kindle Just Released

    Posted on July 22, 2014

    Now you can get a Handbook — NOW!

    SMART Handbook for Kindle

    The waiting is over! Carry your SMART Handbook with you everywhere, on your smartphone or tablet. Or read it on your personal computer or laptop. Thanks to the talents and persistence of Laurie, one of our dedicated volunteers, the frequently requested ebook option for the Handbook is now a reality. The new Kindle edition contains the entire contents of the SMART Handbook, 3rd. ed., is fully indexed for efficient searching using the Kindle app search feature and is now available for instant download. Cost: $7.99
     

    Kindle Free App

    No Kindle? No Problem!

    Anybody can read Kindle books — even without a Kindle device — using the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

    Order the SMART Handbook for Kindle

    Download the FREE Kindle App for smartphones, tablets, computers Continue reading

    4 Easy Tips for an Awesome Summer in Recovery

    Posted on July 15, 2014

    Enjoy Summer Without Getting Off Track

    Summer in RecoveryFor many people, summer is the best time of the year. Warm weather, days at the beach, vacations… What’s not to love? But when you’re in recovery, especially early recovery, the pool parties and vacations of summer can be major relapse triggers. Here are some tips for enjoying summer without getting off track.

    1. Plan ahead—If you know that you will be attending a party, barbecue, or other event that may be triggering, have an exit plan in place. Drive your own car so that you won’t get stuck there longer than you want to, or bring a sober friend along for support. If you are going on vacation, Continue reading

    A Mindful Approach to Addiction Recovery

    Posted on June 24, 2014

    Self-Management Begins with Intention
    -Charles A., SMART Recovery® Facilitator


    SMART Recovery is about actively managing your self and directing your actions. What do you intend to actively do today… or ‘NOW’… to manage your addiction recovery?

    We have the power of choice, but in order to realize this power, forming intentions and doing the work of changing our thinking and behaviors is required for success… so…

    … what’s your intention for self-management today?

    Here are some examples (different addiction examples are included here.)

    • Study in my SMART Recovery handbook for 15 minutes
    • Attend a meeting
    • Take my vitamins
    • Work on an item I’ve put off
    • Eat sensibly
    • Respect myself by examining and rating my thoughts and behaviors… instead of self-rating and self-downing
    • Drive home a different way to avoid my old patterns
    • Exercise for 10-15 minutes
    • Drink water instead of soda at lunch
    • Create an urge log
    • Practice unconditional acceptance with myself and others
    • Set a new boundary
    • Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis worksheet
    • Spend 10 minutes reading in the online library, and then practicing what I’ve learned
    • Stay in the NOW, rather than letting my mind drift to the past or the future
    • Make a journal of the ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) I have each day, and work to dispute them
    • Spend 15 minutes cleaning the kitchen

    ………… and so forth.
    Continue reading

    Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself!

    Posted on June 3, 2014

    by Margaret Speer, SMART Recovery meeting participant

    I believe in self-empowerment and the power of choice. I successfully used these techniques to remain mindful and sober. I’ve improved my confidence, self-acceptance, and increased my independent positive decisions. I lived my life too long and blind to the power I hold within myself. Sobriety through self-empowerment was the hardest journey I have ever accomplished. I developed a healthier lifestyle within my daily routine and recovery goals. I know it is going to take my lifetime to maintain my recovery in addiction to alcohol while developing patience for my impulsive behaviors.

    Since I was 15 years old, I have experienced complications with my involvement with alcohol. I was consistently battling, and failing with every attempt to stop my chemical use. Finally when I was 30 years old I woke up and removed my blinders – eyes wide open. Continue reading