Oasis Bradford offer’s its patient’s the opportunity to benefit from a full holistic programme, including a Mindful Fitness Programme. We believe in treating the mind, body and spirit of each individual patient, so that a full and permanent recovery from addiction and its co-occurring illnesses can be made. Mindful Fitness is a very powerful tool that allows the individual, during practise, to remain in the here and now. Addicts and those suffering from mental health issues and illnesses have a constant daily battle with their own mind. Its simplicity means that anyone, regardless of age, sex, mental or physical capacity, can learn how to practise it and implement its principles into their daily lives. Mindful fitness assists in the process of repairing cognitive brain damage, and cultivating a strong healthy body and mind.
In treating an addict or alcoholic, removing the substance or the behaviour that is destroying the individual, is only the very tip of the iceberg. It is the mind that requires intensive treatment; as this is the driving force behind every destructive or irrational action and behaviour.
Mindful Fitness can be adapted to benefit anyone and is especially beneficial to those that suffer from addiction, anxiety , negative thinking, depression, obsessive thinking, compulsions, PTSD and trauma . By combining mindfulness with fitness, this therapy has dual purpose benefits. Mindfulness and fitness both aid recovery from addiction and mental health issues . When combined together, they provide powerful therapeutic and physical benefits to the individual.
“Mindful Fitness was difficult at first as my mind was a scrambled mess of painful, shameful and obsessive thoughts. My body had also suffered immensely as a result of years of addiction to drugs and neglect. My first thought was, “I can’t do this, it’s impossible” I was wrong; the therapists showed me very simple techniques to start with and from there I progressed. I can honestly say I am testament to its powers. Each morning, I take time out to practise mindful fitness during a long walk; it helps me to focus and clear my mind for the day ahead. I can appreciate the beauty of all that is around me and within me; something that I was completely blind to before”
Mindful Fitness, is a type of simple meditation that combines exercise with mindfulness for increased benefits. Popular examples of Mindful Fitness are Yoga and Tai Chi. Both of these techniques work on the mind whilst improving physical strength, control and flexibility. Mindful Fitness can also be worked into any type of physical exercise; you do not have to be physically fit to enjoy and experience its benefits. Mindful fitness can be practised during walking, jogging, swimming and cycling.
For those that have limited mobility or difficulty walking and standing, it can also be practised in a chair with flowing, controlled and slow movements of each part of the body. Whilst the individual exercises, the mindfulness assists them in focusing on the sensations they are experiencing in their body in order to bring the mind into the here and now. This distracts the mind from unhelpful, negative and painful thought processes. It also slows the breathing and relaxes the muscles. The root of illnesses such as addiction, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress is in the individual’s brain and in their thinking and subsequent emotions. The brain needs to be retrained to think a different way, a way that is beneficial to the individual and improves their quality of life. Those with a busy mind may find it difficult to sit still and meditate; exercising provides a physical and psychological focus and distraction. Whilst they are training their mind, they are also strengthening their body and improving overall flexibility and physical strength.
When an individual is addicted to a substance or an activity, it becomes the focus of their every waking moment, leaving little room for anything else. Addiction is an illness of obsession and compulsive behaviours that are beyond the individual’s self-control. The addict’s day will revolve around planning, plotting, getting and taking alcohol, drugs or engaging in a particular activity. The brain’s reward system further cements the individual’s belief systems and compulsive behaviours. The addict is compelled to repeat the same activity, time and time and time again; despite ever worsening consequences to their physical, mental, emotional, financial and social health. The alcoholic or addict, may well want to stop the substance or activity that is slowly but surely destroying them on a daily basis, but their thoughts are already hardwired to obsess over their addiction and keeps compelling them to carry on. You can only imagine how soul destroying and frustrating this is for an individual that wants to stop but cannot. Take away the substance and the behaviour, and the same thought processes remain; this means that if they are to stand any chance of happy and sober life, there needs to be a substantial shift in their thinking and their subsequent actions and behaviours.
Oasis Bradford wholeheartedly believe in the healing powers of our Mindful Fitness Programme; its powers can be truly transformative. Mindful fitness, when practised regularly, positively impacts on the individual as a whole. Exercise releases the body’s feel good chemicals – endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. Mindfulness helps to positively retrain the brain; thus providing the individual with more awareness and control over their thinking. Mindfulness provides the individual with relief from internal conflict and pain. Most addicts use alcohol and drugs as a solution to their painful, obsessive and compulsive thought processes. Mindful fitness provides a far healthier approach with no negative consequences whatsoever. In order for a full and lasting recovery to be achieved, the individual will need to work on all parts of self – the mind, body and the spirit. Focusing the mind and body positively, enriches the individual’s spirit, providing a better quality of life and drastically reducing the risk of relapse.
Mindful Fitness offers many benefits and is considered a very successful holistic treatment for illnesses of the mind and also of the body. Here are just some of the proven benefits our patients will gain from practising Mindful Fitness:
Mindful Fitness shifts the individual’s focus from the external material world, to the internal spiritual world. In doing this, regardless of external circumstances, the individual is able to find peace within; thus reducing anxieties and fears associated with the outside material world. It also offers the added benefits of strengthening and toning the body and improving overall physical fitness.
Mindful Fitness does not have to be exertive for it to work; it can be practised during low impact activities such as walking, stretching, swimming, yoga and Tai Chi. This means that anyone can do it, regardless of age or their physical ability.
For more information on our Mindful Fitness programme, please contact us directly and ask to speak to a member of our clinical team, who will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We positively promote Mindful Fitness for its benefits in treating addiction and mood disorders. We have implemented it into our rehabilitation programme, so our patients can reap its benefits and continue to do so once they have left the treatment environment.