A definition of mindfulness is "focused awareness in the present moment, on purpose and non-judgmentally." - Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness is simply awareness without judgment.
Mindfulness is noticing in the moment.
Mindfulness is paying attention without assigning a feeling.
So why is this important?
Simply stated, what you are focused on in any given moment is THE most important thing to you at that moment. Did you ever hear the saying, "what you focus on grows"? If you are focused on something negative, then you will likely feel something negative. If you are focused on positive, then you will likely feel positive!
Intentional focused attention ➡️ POSITIVE FEELINGS +/or
Intentional focused attention ➡️ POSITIVE STATE OF MIND
Intentional focused attention ➡️ POSITIVE OUTCOME
Doesn't that sound great? Imagine if you had the ability to create the feeling state and the outcome you desire? GUESS WHAT? YOU DO!!
Mindfulness is a training or a practice that is available to anyone at any time. It goes with you wherever you go!
Here's a simple mindfulness practice that you can do right now (read through first before starting):
Set the timer on your phone for 30 seconds. Put your feet flat on the ground, then immediately close your eyes. Notice the natural rhythm of your breath. Feel your belly rise and fall as you naturally breathe in and out. Notice the air entering and leaving your body. Keep your mind focused only on your breath. If your mind wanders (which it will likely do), bring it gently back to your breath without judgment or feeling. Keep simply noticing your breath until the timer chimes.
What did you notice from this exercise? Were you able to keep your mind focused only on your breath? For many, this exercise is more difficult than it seems. The simple act of focused attention on your breath is designed to keep your mind from wandering as well as offering you the opportunity to bring an awareness to your mental and physical state. Use this exercise any time you notice some tension creeping in. See if a focused mindfulness practice makes even a small difference.
The repetitive act of directing your mind to only one thing in the moment means:
- YOU ARE IN CHARGE of how your mind is paying attention
- You are CHOOSING the focus of your mental energy instead of allowing your thoughts to hijack you
- You are the MASTER OF YOUR THOUGHTS, NOT the SLAVE!
- You will be present for important moments instead of ashamed to admit you missed them
- You can intentionally select how you want your thoughts and your actions to go
THE GOAL OF MINDFULNESS PRACTICE IS to create an awareness of mental options so that you can ultimately get into WISE MIND. Wise Mind is when your emotions and your thoughts are in harmony and moving toward your desired outcome. In Wise Mind, you are not acting emotionally, but rather synchronizing your emotions and logic so that your actions and behaviors are in alignment with your long-term goals. Doesn't that sound AMAZING?
It is an achievable outcome, with practice of course!
Our individual, family and group therapy services use Mindfulness as the foundation. We imagine that helping our clients is like building a house. We help our clients understand how to create a solid, lasting foundation so that they can achieve long-term goals. Mindfulness is the solid concrete - the basis for a substantial and enduring foundation.
Check out our current group mindfulness offerings here.