What's this Mindfulness about?
Mindfulness is the popular word doing the rounds in the last number of years to help with stress, anxiety, worry etc. What is it all about you're probably wondering? I've had clients coming to me with ideas about what it might be like e.g
- It's like meditation
- It's about turning negatives into positives
- It helps you to breathe differently
- You need a quiet place to do it
My understanding of Mindfulness is that it takes all those things listed above into account AND much more. Mindfulness is useful if you are having difficulty with managing emotions whether they be a sadness from a lost relationship or anger with a work colleague.
I often discover working with my clients that they already practice aspects of Mindfulness in their daily lives. It can be useful but I don't subscribe it as the 'best' thing/therapy to do. I like to think that there are aspects of it that can be used along with other resources that we have.
Mindfulness is an acceptance without judgement whereby we allow the senses to become fully alive knowing that we can return to the present moment when the outside world causes us to ‘drift off’.
“Mindfulness is not about closing off from the outside world, closing your eyes and shutting down your senses. It’s about being open and aware of what is in the world and how we are in the world rather than filtering what is there but allowing the world to ‘Flow’ through us. This is where we can become more actualised in the world moment by moment breath by breath.”(Kabat-Zinn 2014)
Drifting Off / Daydreaming
Being human we are prone to many things that are part of our nature. We tend to steer away from pain and suffering and turn towards things and experiences that bring pleasure and comfort in our lives. Following that, humans have a tendency to ‘drift off’ away from reality and into fantasy or daydreams. Research shows that we have a natural tendency to drift off. This is healthy but if we find ourselves drifting off frequently it usually means other areas in our life are suffering as a result. It is in the drifting off where we find ourselves attaching to the things that cause us to become stagnated / ineffective and feeling overwhelmed and out of control. For example, we become anchored in the way life was with a loved one who has passed away and how everything seemed to have balance and certainty. Or not wanting to get out of an abusive relationship as that might bring too much change and leave us without knowing what might happen to us in the future.
It’s important to note that Mindfulness isn’t just a technique or tool but also an attitude. The more we practice the more it becomes part of our everyday lives whether that be in the traffic jam on the way to work or on a surfboard in the Atlantic ocean. As our minds have become more alert and ‘Switched-on’ we have little space to ‘Switch-off’, contemplate or reflect
If you'd like to know more about Mindfulness you're welcome to ring or have a look at www.padraigomorain.com