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The prospect of embarking on a new path can arouse feelings of anxiety and fear. This is a normal human response, but caution should be taken so these emotions don’t prevent someone from making necessary changes. Resisting new experiences with the knowledge of their benefits hinders personal growth. This is a common issue amongst individuals in addiction recovery and those who struggle with their mental health. That’s why mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is available at West Coast Recovery Centers, so clients can enhance their self-awareness and embrace progress rather than averting it. 

What Can Resistance Look Like?

Someone who is pushing against change is often loaded with good excuses. Time is wasted on other activities, and they are easily distracted. They push off action items to “tomorrow,” but when tomorrow comes, they don’t follow through. Whatever plan they have is not good enough, and the search for the best way forward continues with little intention of making it happen. 

Resistance to change can also look like a lot of complaining. For example, someone with a cocaine problem might denounce all the facilities they’ve been to. A sense of accountability is lacking, and they become defensive when their story is questioned. In the case of a mental health disorder, the person might struggle to comply with their treatment plan if they lack a deep understanding of their condition or an awareness of how their thoughts and behaviors are impeding their progress. 

Other Signs

The following are some other signs of resistance to change: 

  • Sabotaging progress
  • Striving for perfection 
  • Overthinking everything
  • Feeling unworthy of better outcomes
  • Not having a clear plan and action items 

What Are the Challenges in Accepting Sobriety?

Those with a substance use disorder (SUD) have to decide whether their addiction is worth the cost to their well-being and that of their loved ones. To an outsider, this might seem like a straightforward call to make. However, to those with an addiction, there is often much more at stake than just a pleasurable feeling. Sobriety comes with a number of significant life changes that can be difficult to embrace. 

Imagining the Changes Needed

People often start using substances in social settings around friends and family members. Certain times of day and the places they frequent become tied to substance use, such as a neighborhood park or living room couch. Being under the influence becomes a ritual ingrained in their daily routine. Their identity and entire reality overlap so much with drug and alcohol use that they can’t imagine who they would be without it. 

For many in addiction recovery, getting sober also means:

  • Cutting ties with old friends
  • Not going to certain places
  • Recreating their sense of self
  • Finding other activities to fill the day

A person who started using substances to forget the guilt or anger associated with a traumatic event also has to deal with their reality without a crutch. Others battle with a constant fear of failure rooted in low self-confidence. To make the changes needed in recovery, a person must allow themselves to be vulnerable to their emotions and the consequences of their actions, which takes courage. 

How Can Treatment Help? 

At treatment facilities like West Coast Recovery Centers, clients can choose from various therapy options and techniques. By having some hand in their own recovery plan, clients can be less resistant to change when they have a sense of ownership and empowerment over the process. They can become familiar with the discomfort that change provokes in a supportive environment.

Therapists and peers provide accountability and motivation for the client so they don’t get distracted or make excuses for not following through. Treatment usually includes psychoeducation, which provides clients with the information they need to understand the condition and form appropriate expectations regarding treatment outcomes.  

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Allowing a new chapter to unfold requires a person to accept the reality that some things will have to change. Therapies like mindfulness-based stress reduction are oriented toward enhancing a person’s awareness of their emotions and how they influence their behavior. By becoming more mindful, they can sustain themselves in the present moment and respond to things with intention.  

Techniques used, such as breathwork and body scans, are also effective at reducing the unpleasant emotions that come from fearing change and regretting not having made a move long ago. 

Research has shown that MBSR can improve emotional dysregulation and reduce avoidance behaviors like those observed in both substance use disorders and mental health conditions. Clients may find themselves with the capacity to deal with uncertainties with more confidence and, in turn, make decisions that add, rather than take away from their recovery. 

Life is a revolving door of changes. Every day, there are decisions to be made that, when added up, can have significant implications for a person’s well-being. Those with an addiction or other mental health disorder may have concerns that prevent them from committing themselves to treatment. At West Coast Recovery Centers, treatment for addiction and mental health is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each client has accumulated personal experiences that have brought them to this very moment. The things that motivate them to stick to the status quo can vary. We take their concerns seriously and address them throughout treatment. Clients are given a hand in choosing their path to recovery through various therapies and therapeutic techniques that give them the courage to embrace transformation. Mindfulness-based stress reduction is one modality that can help. To learn more, call us at (760) 492-6509

West Coast Recovery Centers ( 370135CP), Valid through July 31, 2025
Jackson House Visalia (540056AP), Valid through May 15, 2025
DHCS Licensing and Certification Division