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What is Mindfulness Therapy?

What is mindfulness therapy - Vantage PointWhat is mindfulness therapy?

Everything we do is done quickly so we can move on to the next task.

We push aside the needs of our body and mind to get jobs done. We have a deadline at work, so we ignore the signs of stress making an appearance in our bodies. We pop pain relievers to fix those daily headaches, we limp through the day and tolerate lower back pain. Our family members put up with our negative attitudes because they love us and they know we are overwhelmed with everyday life.

This is not a healthy way to live. In fact, our bodies will only take so much of this poor living before it breaks down even more. If we are not taking care of ourselves using as many positive activities as we can, we will eventually have to face even larger consequences. It is important to implement positive techniques into our daily routines that will help us become stronger mentally and physically and better equip us to handle stressors. Mindfulness Therapy is one of the best ways to do this.

Being mindful means you are completely aware of where you are and what you are doing.

You are focused on everything in your presence including your mind, body and environment. It can also help you avoid being too distracted and reactive to outside influences. The cars driving by outside, the cell phone ringing or even the thoughts racing through your brain can be silenced when being mindful.

To be mindful, you are focusing your attention on the here and now, on what is going on in your life right now.

All your attention is aimed at reviewing your body and mind to figure out what you need to feel better. It also means you can be objective in paying attention to yourself, and not become judgmental about the situation. If you become judgmental then you may start focusing on blame or other negative emotions. Mindfulness keeps you focused on the positive, on solutions.

Mindfulness and CBT

Mindfulness is being mixed with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy by certified professional counselors of all types.

It is called mindfulness-cbt or mcbt. Mindfulness cognitive behavioral therapy can help with anxiety and depression, eating disorders, and chronic pain. Through meditation and breathing practices, people suffering with mental health disorders can learn proven techniques to help them cope. Just as therapists include acupuncture and yoga practices as part of a treatment plan, mindfulness can be added also with beneficial results.

Several studies show that incorporating mindfulness in therapies for depression helps lower the chances of depression returning in time. Teaching people how to become independent in assessing their own needs will help people rely less on counselors and medications and more on themselves to care for their physical and mental needs. While cognitive based therapy is a great technique, adding mindfulness to it only improves its uses.

In a comparison of cognitive based therapy to mindfulness cognitive based therapy, adding mindfulness to treatment was found to be just as effective, if not better, for clients working to improve depressive symptoms. This can be true with many other mental health disorders as well.

There are numerous ways you can add mindfulness to therapy.

How to Be Mindful

Mindfulness Techniques consist of many types of actions you can take to become aware of what your body needs. These include mindfulness observation, listening, awareness, breathing, immersion and appreciation.

Some popular exercises in mindfulness therapy include the body scan and meditation. They each allow you to focus on each body part to see how they feel and if they need attention. The self-compassion pause and the five senses are activities that also have you focus on your body’s needs.

These types of activities provide great benefits to your mind and body.

Benefits of Mindfulness Therapy

Learning how to react to situations versus act is one benefit of mindfulness therapy.

Giving yourself time to think about your actions can greatly help with anger issues. It can also help you become more aware of your own mind and give you a sense of self. It can give you more control over your thoughts and how they are directed, rather than just having thought bounce around with no order. The benefit of giving yourself a clear mind, free from chaotic and disorganized thoughts, will give you more peace in your life.

Mindfulness therapy can improve your well-being, physical and mental health. When addressing your needs through this technique you can lead a more satisfied life, form deeper connections with others and can handle life’s ups and downs better. Other benefits include learning how to stop reacting without thinking, have better clarity in tough situations, and achieve more balance in your life.

Having more balance means getting your body healthy. It also means getting your mental health as strong as possible. Mindfulness has been shown to create this strength.

Mindfulness and Mental Health

Many mental health issues can be treated with mindfulness therapies.

Some of these include depression, substance abuse or addiction, anxiety, psychosis and attention deficit disorders. Per the American Psychiatric Association, mindfulness is showing positive signs of helping with depression. They report that research is showing mindfulness is just as effective as anti-depressants.

Three ways mindfulness helps depression is you can learn that it is okay to say no, reducing the amount of stress you put on yourself. You learn to stop and listen to your own needs and you can become more present with others.

Mindfulness can teach you several attitudes to help reduce anxiety. One teaches you to be more intentional with your actions so you can focus on your needs. Others include seeking a fresh perspective, patience, acknowledging the anxiety versus trying to ignore it, withholding judgments about the anxiety, relying on yourself, and having self-compassion.

One report says that being able to turn off parts of the brain with meditation has been quite beneficial for those suffering with schizophrenia. If done over an extended period, meditation is believed to be able to change the brain and improve its ability to handle difficult situations such as psychosis.

Mindfulness seems to give you the ability and the excuse, not that you need one, to take care of yourself first. To do this, you need confidence that taking care of yourself is mandatory to have less stress and to be able to better care for others.

Mindfulness therapy by itself is a powerful tool to improving your overall health. When combined with other positive techniques, it can set you free from the stressors that affect your mental and physical well-being.