Science continues to advance and find new ways to heal bodies and minds, but sometimes it’s in looking to the past that we find healing methods that are every bit as relevant now, as they were many years ago. Mindfulness is one such tool that originated over 2,000 years ago but is now being used to effectively treat a wide range of psychological problems. At the most basic level, mindfulness means awareness. However, awareness can mean many things. With regard to psychological well-being, mindfulness is the awareness of one’s physical, mental, and emotional state. You could also say that mindfulness is the practice of being present in daily life.
Many people never take the time or make the effort to stop and think about what they are feeling or how they are interacting with the world around them. For some, their days are consumed by stress and a never-ending list of things that must be done. For others, they may deal with physical or emotional pain that at times can seem overwhelming. Mindfulness is a way to release yourself from the negativity, pain, and stress of daily life and create an environment that can help you feel more relaxed and in control.
At Blair Wellness Group, we incorporate meditation as a mindfulness practice into many of our therapy sessions. This ancient practice is very relevant in today’s world as it is especially effective for quieting the mind and allowing one to tune into their innermost feelings. This is not only beneficial for reducing anxiety and stress, but it also promotes deeper reflection and insight development for those seeking to improve their mental health. To learn more about mindfulness or how we incorporate it into our therapy, please contact us to make an appointment.
Understanding Mindfulness Therapy
For those who are unfamiliar with how it works, it might seem that mindfulness is just another way to relax. However, there is much more to it than that. By bringing your attention to the present, no matter how you are feeling or what is going on around you, it’s possible to just be without being overwhelmed or overly reactive. It may be hard to believe that in such a complex world something so simple could really make that big of a difference — but it can. People who are able to harness the power of meditation find that they feel less stress, have greater clarity of mind and are better able to separate themselves from the negative mental, physical, and emotional sensations that make up their daily lives.
Practicing mindfulness isn’t difficult, although it can take some time to make it a habit and tap into its true benefits. It’s something that every human being has the ability to do — it’s just that many people are usually too consumed by life to actually stop and experience it. Mindfulness can bring awareness and appreciation to everything around us, making the difficult things in life easier to manage and the positive things even better.
How Mindfulness Therapy Works
Mindfulness therapy can complement just about any type of treatment. For instance, it is often used within the realm of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy — one of the most widely practiced methods of helping people identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors. Through CBT, individuals learn to modify irrational beliefs that contribute to problematic thoughts and actions. Mindfulness can help with this healing process by providing patients with a means to assess their emotions with greater clarity, without fretting about the future or ruminating on the past.
In addition to being used with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness practice has also been found to be an effective means for treating those who are involved in Stress Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. The common thread that makes mindfulness useful among all of these types of therapies is its ability to enable people to separate themselves from the negative thoughts and emotions that are preventing them from progressing down a path toward healing.
Techniques Used in Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present and aware without reacting to our feelings or surroundings. Although the concept is simple, there are several ways to practice mindfulness.
This practice involves sitting still and noticing whatever comes to mind in the present moment, without reacting or being judgmental. The things you notice may come in the form of thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations.
More of a method to enhance mindfulness, breathing exercises allow you to relax your mind so your thoughts can become clearer. This enables you to better focus your attention on the things around you so you can enter a meditative state.
This practice involves focusing your imagination to create peaceful images in your mind. It is a simple technique that can be very effective for managing stress.
Just about anything can be performed mindfully and that includes physical movement such as walking or yoga. The key is to perform each movement with an awareness of the physical sensations associated with it.
Uses for Mindfulness
Mindfulness therapy has traditionally been used to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Because these symptoms often coexist with others that may be related to a variety of different mental health issues, it can be beneficial for treating everything from PTSD to Bipolar Disorder. The following are just a few of the areas in which mindfulness therapy has been used effectively:
- Anxiety disorders
- General depression
- Depression associated with physical illness or chronic pain
- Food disorders
- Substance abuse
- Stress and stress-related issues
Benefits of Mindfulness
The beauty of practicing mindfulness lies in its simplicity. Anyone can do it, it’s easy to learn, and it doesn’t require a prescription. Despite all of this, it’s incredibly effective for addressing many mental health concerns — not to mention bringing positivity and awareness to everything that surrounds us.
Regarding mindfulness therapy, the benefits lie in its ability to impact these key areas:
- Anxiety Reduction
- Stress Reduction
- Emotional Regulation
- Reduction in Depressive Symptoms
If you would like to learn more about mindfulness or how we incorporate it into our practice, we encourage you to contact Blair Wellness Group. It is our therapeutic goal that each patient receives the highest standard of quality care and exclusive therapy available in a supportive, collaborative, and safe environment. Call today to schedule an appointment.
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