You may have heard of mindfulness in the contexts of yoga, or meditation. But mindfulness, or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is also a real therapeutic modality that can help you address patterns of thought and behavior that may not be serving you.
Mindfulness gives you a way to address overwhelming negative emotions in the moment. Instead of drowning in them, you can take notice of them without judgement, gain some distance from the pain they cause, and choose how you might address them. You can then consciously choose more productive, helpful thoughts.
Mindfulness brings our physical, spiritual, and emotional selves into alignment, teaching them to work together in a way that lets you live your best life.
Mindfulness is an effective way to address depression and anxiety, and helps with managing the symptoms of trauma.
Mindfulness isn’t just about deep breathing, though that’s part of it. You can be mindful about the way you’re occupying physical space, and how you’re moving. You can be mindful of tactile sensations you’re experiencing. You can be mindful of how you are eating, experiencing tastes and smells vividly as you enjoy what’s in front of you right now rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
You will learn a number of exercises you can employ at appropriate intervals. This can include becoming fully aware of your body and breathing, making use of visualization exercises, and “grounding” yourself wherever you are sitting or standing. Even physical motions, like stretching, can make a difference in how you perceive and interact with the world.
I will teach you how to practice mindfulness wherever you are: on public transit, at your desk, sitting in a car in traffic, while your kids are yelling, and while you’re looking at a stack of bills. It’s not restricted by place or by time. Once you’ve learned the skill, and understand how to employ the skill, it will stay with you for a lifetime.
Mindfulness helps you mitigate depression or anxiety, manage and remit these conditions, and prevent relapses. At least one study indicates it can be as effective as antidepressants.
It’s a tangible technique for pulling yourself out of a spiral. For treating yourself with self-compassion after applying self-awareness.
It also allows your emotions to have their say in a way that isn’t overwhelming. Emotions you try to avoid come back twice as strong. Emotions that are noticed, named, and dealt with can pass without needing to scream their message again and again.