What is mindfulness? - feelya

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 What is mindfulness and how can it be used in therapy?

Mindfulness is defined as the ability to pay attention, on purpose, to the present moment in a non-judgemental way (J.K.Zinn, 2017).

Statistics show that we spend as much as 80% of our waking life on autopilot – this being doing something while thinking about something else, not really in contact with what we are doing, lost in our thought of work, problems, what to do next, what we have just done.

Have you ever read a book just to realize at the end of the page that you have no idea what you have just read? Have you ever talked with someone just to realize you lost half of the conversation or driven to a familiar place and have no recollection of the road? You were on autopilot.

Don’t get me wrong, the autopilot can be useful. For example, you do not want to reflect on how to stop the car every time you see a red traffic light. However, often our mind spirals into negative thoughts, self-criticism or concerns at any time, while doing anything so we miss out on playing with the kids, we are lost for half of our meeting or class or we only enjoy part of our well deserved evening with a friend just because our mind is somewhere else.

Mindfulness trains the mind to be focused on what is happening in the present, whether that’s good or bad, and actually being present in our life. It teaches a new relationship with thought where we are able to just observe them without having to react to them or even believe them. Because thoughts are in our heads, we take them for truth, but they are not the truth, they are not fact; they are merely thoughts that we can learn to use them if and when we want to use them without being overwhelmed by them.

In therapy, you will learn more about mindfulness and start practicing it to experience the enormous difference that being present in your own life can make.


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