Mindfulness is a state of being conscious and aware of your thoughts, actions, feelings, surroundings, and sensations, free from judgment or distraction. All focus and intentions go to the present moment. A mindfulness habit is deliberate and cultivated through practice.
There is an urgency to move on in this fast-paced world. Nobody has time for introspection until it is too late. As soon as you can go to school, life becomes reduced to accolades, accomplishments, titles, status quo, and possession. Humans tend to frown on “health over wealth,” even though without the former, the latter has no value.
If you find yourself spiraling into the habit of chasing the elusive at the cost of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, perhaps it is time to consider mindfulness therapy.
What is Mindfulness Therapy?
Mindfulness therapy is a form of counseling that uses cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and mindfulness mediative practices to enhance a person’s self-awareness. During counseling, you learn how to be fully present in the moment by engaging your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions. The therapy endeavors to break destructive thinking patterns, emotional cycles, and the associated behaviors that fuel mood disorders.
Mindfulness counseling techniques require constant self-reflection. Eventually, this leads to self-actualization. The more aware you become, the easier it becomes to control your thoughts, emotions, feelings, and behavior. Additionally, mindfulness also fosters acceptance.
Rather than reacting prematurely to situations or aversion and avoidance, it encourages introspection, learning, resolving, and acceptance. The process is essential for letting go of traumatic experiences, hurts, failures, and fears. It fosters realism with a dose of hope rather than unrealistic optimism or pessimism.
The key characteristics that mindfulness cultivates are:
- Awareness – of your feelings, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors self and others.
- Attention – to the present moment on your immediate internal and external surroundings
- Attitude – that is non-judgmental, curious, and kind
What Happens in Mindfulness Therapy?
Mindfulness therapists employ mindfulness techniques that align with cognitive and behavioral therapy principles during counseling. The core of mindfulness exercises is meditation. Thus, each activity begins in a meditative state.
Meditation allows you to focus on your present thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Sit or lie in silence in a comfortable and quiet location without any distractions. Focus on your breathing to zone off the world.
Let your thoughts wander without judging or pushing away undesired thoughts. Notice your sensations, emotions, and urges and allow them to pass. The process makes you aware of your perceptions, worries, desires and cares at that moment.
How to Apply Mindfulness
- Practice acceptance – forgive yourself, extend kindness to yourself, and acknowledge your input. If your mind veers off, notice where it is going and guide it back.
- Learn to stay present – you can use everyday activities in this exercise or remain in a meditative state. For instance, if you choose to eat, focus on the action. Notice the flavors, your chewing, the sounds, and the textures. Take pleasure in the taste and in your digestive system’s ability and become one with the moment.
- Mindful stretching – focus your attention on your body and mind while stretching.
Mindfulness is significant in regulating thinking patterns, emotional cycles, and behavioral outcomes. Psychologists use mindfulness techniques to enforce beneficial cognitive and behavioral habits.
- Cultivates constructive thought and emotional processes in people with mood disorders and substance abuse use – they learn the root of their problem, triggers, and how they associate with their maladaptive behavior.
- Raises awareness of the harmful effects of negative thinking and reactive responses in people with mood disorders.
- Calms the body after an anxiety or panic attack by slowing down your breathing and heartbeat rate.
- Helps with stress regulation by increasing your awareness of stressors and your destructive coping mechanisms.
- Leads to self-actualization by encouraging introspection.
- Enables you to find delight in everyday living by being present in the moment.
- Encourages accountability and responsibility for actions committed.
- Fosters healthy emotional regulation habits through rationalization and – no more neglecting, avoiding, or suppressing thoughts and emotions, leading to emotional outbursts.
- Promotes self-acceptance – through its non-judgmental approach, giving room to kindness and genuine curiosity in self.
- Builds relationships by encouraging you to delight in the present. Loved ones get total attention and engagement from you.
Get the right help
Mindfulness therapy is just one of the many services we offer here at My Psychiatrist. Our licensed providers are passionate about helping people reach their fullest potential, and we’re committed to providing our patients with the best possible care.
If you’re looking for the right support to help you achieve a mindful lifestyle, schedule an appointment today. We have four convenient locations in South Miami, Hollywood, Oakland Park and Boca Raton, Florida – or you can take advantage of our Telemedicine service.
We are here to help.