Taking a Mindfulness Approach to Step 4

By Colin White, Renascent Alumni

Step 4 of the 12 Steps of Recovery is all about self-reflection and self-awareness. In this step, individuals are encouraged to take a deep dive into their inner selves and examine their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This introspective process is an essential part of recovery and helps individuals identify patterns of behavior that may have contributed to their addiction.

One way to enhance the reflection process in Step 4 is through the use of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being present and fully engaged in the moment, without judgment. It is a powerful tool for individuals in recovery as it can help them become more self-aware and develop greater insight into their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Here are some tips for using mindfulness in the reflection and writing process of Step 4:

  • Find a quiet place to reflect: Find a quiet place where you can reflect on your thoughts and feelings without distractions. This could be a park, a library, or simply a quiet room in your home.
  • Set an intention: Before you begin your reflection, set an intention to be fully present and open to your thoughts and feelings. Remind yourself that this is a time for self-reflection and self-awareness, not self-criticism.
  • Practice mindfulness: Begin by focusing on your breath and bringing your attention to the present moment. As you reflect, use mindfulness to observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This can help you gain greater insight into your patterns of behavior and identify areas for growth and improvement.
  • Write down your reflections: Writing down your reflections can be a helpful tool for further exploring your thoughts and feelings. This allows you to process and understand what you have learned about yourself.
  • Review and reflect: After you have written down your reflections, take the time to review and reflect on what you have learned. Use this information to develop a plan for making positive changes in your life.

About the Authors

Renascent Staff
The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.