Inarguably, mindfulness does have positive benefits. However, those benefits may be limited, though they are transformative and impactful. Two researchers set to do a thorough audit of the thousands of publications of mindfulness research to evaluate which fit the “gold standards for medical research”, one of the researchers, Daniel Goleman, writes for Harvard Business Review. Of the thousands of publications, just one percent made the cut. “Those solid studies, though, reveal that there are four real benefits from mindfulness: stronger focus, staying calmer under stress, better memory, and good corporate citizenship.”
The researchers argue that instead of looking at mindfulness as a tool for infinite improvement, looking at it as a tool for “mental fitness”. We train at the gym or through different workout programs to improve our fitness. As men in recovery, our physical fitness becomes an integral part of our overall recovery program. Our bodies are machines capable of great strength, endurance, training, and ability. Research into mindfulness and meditation show that more hours dedicated to the practice, the better the results. “Think of mindfulness as a way to enhance certain kinds of mental fitness, just as regular workouts at the gym build physical fitness”, Goleman writes.
Recovery can be seen like a fitness program. It takes time, those many hours of practice, to develop a fitness of sobriety. Daily sobriety and recovery is a regular workout. A good workout routine consists of different activities to engage different parts of the body in different ways. Recovery is similar. Mindfulness and meditation are just two components of recovery fitness, engaging the brain, as well as the body in different ways. Combining mindfulness and meditation with a variety of other practices is part of a recovery fitness program that creates sustainable change for sustainable recovery.
Creating sustainable change is what we do at Tree House Recovery, a men’s residential treatment facility in Portland, Oregon. Focusing on rehabilitation of mind, body, and spirit, men graduate our program equipped to live a full and prosperous life of adventure and peace. At Tree House, men are finding freedom from addiction every day. Call us for more information: (503) 850-2474