Mindfulness is a holistic practice that has become more common over recent decades. It includes techniques that guides users to rebalance the mind, embrace conscious thinking and how to respond compassionately rather than react. It nurtures skills relating to non- judgment, empathy, active listening and self- reflection.
This practice is based in psychology and understands that regulating thinking, emotions and feelings allows self to stay connected to whole being in a calmer way. Mindfulness is a form of therapy that is not natural but learned and practiced. When self is aware of thoughts, then self is aware of actions in relation to cause and effect. It can also be used a method to overcome detrimental moods, addictions and habits.
Many other therapies may include mindfulness practices, these include yoga, meditation but mindfulness is based in Mindfulness Stress Reduction Therapy (MSRT) which focuses on thought processes and reframing thinking to rebalance the mind, body and soul. Psychotherapy and mindfulness are connected because the focus is on being connected to self and fully present in the moment, whereas Cognitive Therapy involves mindfulness, meditation and breathing exercises to treat conditions like depression and anxiety by understanding own thought processes and emotions. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is known to be a psychological practice but it is used in relation to mindfulness, self – reflection to solve negative emotions, moods by identifying what the causes are and positive coping strategies that can be used to rebalance self. This therapy is used to treat dis-orders like depression, anxiety or OCD.
Mindfulness is used to maintain mental health because it encourages self to recognise distorted thoughts and emotions on a conscious level from own perspective and that of others. It relates to understanding and compassion for self and others.
This practice is one that takes time and is a great way to connect with self and others in a calmer, reflective way. It is important to recognise own triggers, the cause of them which may be related to past experiences and to be able to release them in own mind so that the distortion is replaced with reality and solution focused thinking so that behaviour is more controlled in response rather than reaction.
By connecting own thoughts and controlling them, instead of being disconnected from self and being controlled by them, it is easier to stay present in the moment. For mindfulness to become part of own lifestyle, daily practice guides self to be more aware so hormones and thoughts remain focused on staying balanced in challenging situations, so self is less judgment to be open about learning from self and others.
Being mindful can be used in a number of ways, but it always starts with the mind, thoughts, reflection, non-judgment and compassion. It’s important to be kind, understanding and gentle with self so these skills can be expressed and shared with others.
In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn, “…mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment — non-judgmentally.”