Spending Time Alone
When we are alone, we may reflect on past events, picking over all that happened to us, and believing we are responsible for where we are today. Destructive, useless thoughts, can drive us deeper into self-hatred, shame, and blame. Thankfully, it’s possible to exercise control over these moments, processing our thoughts in the direction of healing and kicking negative musings out of our minds. In those moments, by purposefully directing thoughts toward peacefulness and choosing to think of something constructive, we find the strength within ourselves we may not have known was there.
Things You Can Do Right Now
Read aloud to yourself
You don’t have the perfect narrator’s voice, but the concentrated effort it takes to read produces a soothing effect on the mind. This is why children love when parents read books aloud. Alternatively, if reading aloud makes you feel awkward, listen to an audiobook: something empowering that is not in any way shocking or depressing. Whatever you read, make sure it retains human dignity because positive re-energizing is critical.
Listen to classical music
Classical music may not exactly be your first choice of music, and depending on your go-to choice, it may feel strange at first. But think of this as an extension of any meditation or yoga exercise. Select classical piano music, close your eyes, and just listen to the sounds.
Become aware of how the sounds feel in your mind and body. If you have chosen something relaxing, you should feel relaxed too. When you are tempted into racing thoughts, listen to relaxing music, and become aware of the transition within your mind and body. You don’t always have to listen to classical music. Traditional jazz and some smooth contemporary jazz can have a similar effect. Have fun experimenting with different sounds; there’s plenty to choose from on a variety of music apps.
Stemming from the Alexander Technique, progressive muscle relaxation begins by tensing one area of the body, usually the foot, and working up through the leg’s calf muscle, then the thigh. Progress to the hip area and so on, all the way to the face.
After tensing each muscle, relax, and imagine it does not exist. Following relaxing and tensing each major muscle group, you may experience a sense of weightlessness—your breath, slow and relaxed. Ideally, anxious thoughts will have disappeared. If they have not, or return quickly, be patient; each of these techniques takes time. With practice, though, your mind will sense a feeling of calm and stillness.
When we are alone, we may find ourselves dwelling on past events or on things we believe are responsible for where we are now. It is essential to spend alone time in constructive ways, directing our thoughts toward healing. You don’t have to be perfect to read aloud to yourself, but the concentrated effort it takes has a soothing effect on the mind. Listening to peaceful music also triggers endorphins that relax our minds, giving us a positive outlook. Releasing energy through the Alexander Technique’s conscious mindfulness generates an awareness of our body’s response to tension and relaxation, which is useful during moments of stress. Whichever quiet moment you choose, it is possible to discover the inner-strength you may not have known was there. Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains’ inspiring landscape, the Detox Center of Colorado offers a solution-based transitional residence program aimed at accountability and recovery. No matter how far you are on your journey to substance abuse or mental health recovery, we look forward to helping you explore the range of supportive treatment and aftercare options available to you. Call the Detox Center of Colorado at (303) 952-5035. It may be the best thing you do for yourself today.