Category Archives: Managing Thoughts

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

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

5 Tips for Building a Strong Support Network

Posted on July 1, 2014

How to help your potential support system really be helpful
~Josh King, PsyD, Center for Motivation and Change

Support for RecoveryMany people start using substances (often as teens) as a way to engage socially.  The reality is that almost all substances with abuse potential initially have a “social lubrication” effect (i.e., they are dis-inhibiting, relaxing, anxiety-reducing, buffers to self-criticism, enhancers of pleasure, etc).  The problem?  Further down the road (and sometimes right out of the gates), use patterns become much more solitary, withdrawn and isolated.  Many have suffered through conflicts with family and friends and, by the time they seek treatment, feel disconnected from potential supporters of change.  In addition, to break the destructive patterns that are in place when they seek treatment, they have to distance themselves from current friends who engage in the same behavior (party pals etc).  The reality of “loss”…that is the loss of the relationship with the substance and with the people around it…and the awareness of distance from potentially supportive family and friends makes the early stages of change very hard to tolerate at times.
Research has shown time and again that having a robust support network can significantly reduce the odds of relapse 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

Ending the Stigma of Addiction

Posted on June 10, 2014

The Language of Recovery Advocacy
Guest Blogger: William White


Words are important.  If you want to care for something, you call it a “flower”; if you want to kill something, you call it a “weed”.  –Don Coyhis

Some will question why we as recovery advocates should invest valuable time debating the words used to convey alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems and their solutions when there are suffering individuals and families that need to be engaged, recovery support resources that need to be created, communities that need to be educated, and regressive, discriminatory policies that need to be changed.  We must invest this time because achieving our broader goals depends on our ability to forge a recovery-oriented vocabulary.      

Words have immense power to wound or heal.  The wrong words shame people with AOD problems and drive them into the shadows of subterranean cultures.  The wrong words, by conveying that people are not worthy of recovery and not capable of recovery, fuel self-destruction and prevent or postpone help-seeking. The right words serve as catalysts of personal transformation 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