If you are a recovering drug addict, dealing with a recovering drug addict, or even just a normal non-addicted person, wrapping your mindset around living in the present can bring a lot of peace and joy into your daily life. Staying present can help ease any big changes in your life and keep you less stressed. Change is never easy, even when it’s for the better, but concentrating on the present instead of the known past or the unknown future can help make change, and your journey on the road to recovery, more fulfilling. Primarily because, when you get right down to it, the present is really all there ever is.
There is an Eckhart Tolle quote that says, “Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the now.” While this Buddhist-influenced philosophy of focusing one’s awareness on the present may seem as a hard practice to begin, it can bring feelings of liberation, particularly if one often over analyzes the mistakes of the past or the hunger for the future. Remembering the past is important so you are sure not to repeat the same mistakes, but the key is to not dwell in the past and spend unnecessary energy regretting it that could be spent elsewhere. Keeping your mindset in the past is more likely to cause an increase in depressed feelings and anxious thoughts. In addition, while dreaming of a bright, successful future is healthy and important, making those dreams become reality start by action in the present. Live the life you have control over now in the present and size the moment.
In terms of recovery, understanding that the present is all you have can be a real epiphany, because the “right now” is, at the very least a manageable, digestible unit of time. If during your recovery process you’ve focused on your previous failures at how you’ve been unable to get sober, your energies are being depleted by something you no longer have any control over. If you’re concentrating on how you’re going to make it years, months, days, or even hours without getting high, you’re again diverting valuable energy away from what really matters – what you’re going to do now to help you achieve your future goals. The past is gone, and the future is down the road. All you can control is what you’ll do here and now in the moment, one step at a time.
The good news is you can begin practicing present-living mindset right now! Change begins in this moment. Practicing a present-tense mindset does take discipline and self-control, but you are not going through this alone. By finding a community of people also living a life of sobriety, you can allow yourself to meet and learn from others who are recovering from their past mistakes and how to find joy in today.
One technique that can be very helpful with controlling your state of mind is meditation. Thankfully, there are hundreds of different mediation techniques that involve quieting the mind and focusing inward, typically on your present breathing. While you’re in this state of peace, you can focus on your thoughts and analyze where they are coming from and filter through if these are present-minded thoughts. Meditation can help you recognize when your thoughts are wandering back to the past or into the future and guiding them back to your present state.
The only real time one can experience true bliss, serenity, and freedom is when they are living in the moment. You can find your life more manageable and efficient when you look at the beauty of today. Living in the present will help to live a fulfilling life, especially for those recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.