These days, we hear a lot about ‘mindfulness.’ When terms like that start being used on daytime TV, it’s natural to wonder if it’s just a psychological version of the latest fad diet. But mindfulness, despite what images the word may suggest, is a proven principle and is often associated with Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Mindfulness is a discipline that, if practiced, can help you gain new perspectives on persistent problems in your life.
Mindfulness is essentially a concentrated effort to experience the present moment. Subtle changes in the way we think about what we are experiencing right now can go a long way toward longer-term well-being. Understanding how we feel in the present when things are going well is relatively easy, if only because there are no immediate problems that must be addressed. But when things are not going quite so well, or when we have a real issue that needs attention, old and familiar patterns of response may feel comfortable in their familiarity, but they may also be deficient for the tasks at hand.
- Your starting point is right here and right now. Try to understand what’s going on in your mind right now, rather than lamenting how things should be.
- Allow, rather than accept, your present reality. Acknowledging that what is happening right now cannot be immediately changed is different than accepting its permanence in your life. Allowing it to exist provides opportunities for examining potential strategies for changing the situation, whereas accepting it is more likely to result in permanence.
- Consider the problem to be a challenge, rather than a curse. Challenges are like puzzles, which require creative ways of thinking, which can in turn create solutions that are more desirable. Curiosity about what’s going on inside us is important to helping us understand our honest motivations for responding to the world as we do.
- Know your limitations. If you have experienced trauma, it may be unhealthy to constantly confront the issue you’re trying to improve. Find balance between the challenges of confronting and getting support from trusted others, such as a therapist, who can help you achieve that balance.
- Be flexible with yourself. New insights may yield the need for new strategies, which can be taxing. Flexibility can reduce your effort in addressing these new insights.
- Remember that you’re only human and you can only do so much. Transformation takes time, and it may not conform to the amount of time your patience allows. Be patient.
- Recognize that a qualified therapist may be able to help you achieve mindfulness and addressing your specific issues.
Finding a Therapist For Help and Support
Laurie Grengs is a licensed and highly experienced therapist located in Coon Rapids, MN, with over 33 years of experience. If you are looking for a partner to help you achieve mindfulness and finding joy in yourself and in your life, call her today at 877-572-2326 for an appointment.