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Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. According to psychologytoday.com, when you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.

 

There are many benefits of mindfulness. Harvard Medical School sites some of those benefits as emotion regulation, body awareness, and an overall increase in sense of self. If you can focus on present moments instead of getting distracted, your attention sharpens. The most common practice of mindfulness includes meditation.  Meditation allows you to be aware of your mental state, helping you to focus your emotions. Through focused meditation you can learn to distinguish between your distracting worries versus a real resolution to your problems. Because of these affects, mindfulness is being sought as a resolution for anxiety and traumatic stress. Mindfulness seeks to change the relationship between the anxious person and his or her thoughts.

 

According to psychcentral.com, In mindfulness based therapy, the person focuses on the bodily sensations that arise when he or she is anxious. Instead of avoiding or withdrawing from these feelings, he or she remains present and fully experiences the symptoms of anxiety. Instead of avoiding distressing thoughts, he or she opens up to them in an effort to realize and acknowledge that they are not literally true.

 

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, fully realizing the experience of anxiety enables anxious people to release their over identification with negative thoughts. The person practices responding to disruptive thoughts, and letting these thoughts go.

 

By remaining present in the body, they learn that the anxiety they experience is merely a reaction to perceived threats. By positively responding to threatening events instead of being reactive they can overcome an erroneous fight-or-flight response.

 

In other words, a way to reduce the symptoms of anxiety is to be fully, mindfully, anxious. As anxiety reveals itself to be a misperception, symptoms will dissipate.  (http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/01/28/using-mindfulness-to-treat-anxiety-disorders/)

 

To help center your thoughts on being mindful, Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hahn, offers this short meditation in his book Being Peace:

 

“Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful moment.”

 

 

 

 

Posted in Health & Wellness, Meditation | March 5th, 2015 | 0 Comments

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