Sex Addiction: What is Mindfulness in Recovery from Sex Addiction?

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Mindfulness can be a very useful practice in the recovery process from sex addiction as well as in life after addiction. A good way to think of mindfulness is to view it as awareness. It consists of two parts:

The first part is being completely in the moment.

The second part is taking a non-judgmental approach to your inner self.

Addicts often suffer in silence. According to “Sexual Addiction” on The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health website, “anxiety or extreme stress are common in sex addicts who live with constant fear of discovery. Shame and guilt increase, as the addict’s lifestyle is often inconsistent with the personal values, beliefs and spirituality. Boredom, pronounced fatigue, despair are inevitable as addiction progresses.”

Mindfulness can help sex addicts address these emotions, as well as, the flood of emotions that come with the recovery process. Recovery can be approached from a spiritual or a purely medical point of view. Mindfulness has roots in Eastern and Buddhist thought and spirituality, but is quite complementary to Western spirituality such as Christianity. As an addict, discovering your spirituality may be a central part of your recovery process. You can easily incorporate mindfulness into your daily prayer and reflection. If you are not spiritual or religious, you can equally benefit from mindfulness. Approach it as a behavioral practice and include meditation in your daily routine.

You can easily learn to practice mindfulness in your life. It can help you overcome strong emotions through self-awareness, understanding and acceptance. Mindfulness is a set of skills that will come naturally over time. Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D., lists nine essential qualities of mindfulness in her article on the Psychology Today website “The Mindful Self-Express” Nine Essential Qualities of Mindfulness. The nine qualities are as follows:

1.  Focus on the Present Moment

2.  Being Fully Present

3.  Openness to Experience

4.  Non-Judgment

5.  Acceptance of Things as They Are

6.  Connection

7.  Non-Attachment

8.  Peace and Equanimity

9.  Compassion

Greenberg says, “Developing an observing mind that watches your own daily experience, notices your automatic patterns, and gently redirects attention to the present moment is the beginning of growing a “mindfulness muscle” to help you navigate the winds of change and stresses in your life. “As Eckhart Tolle so eloquently said: “Always say “yes” to the present moment. Surrender to what is. Say ’yes’ to life—and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”

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