The Benefits of Mindfulness
brought to you by the Inspiro Counselling Team
In this current state of global uncertainty, so much seems to be outside of our control. It can feel overwhelming. We do know though that one thing that we can experiment with at this time is the way in which we respond to our experiences. Increasing our awareness of thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations evoked by external events makes it possible to free ourselves from automatic, habitual ways of reacting so that we can respond in ways that are likely to elicit what we most need. This practice of mindfulness is about getting in touch with our moment to moment experiences in a non-judgmental way.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the act of bringing our awareness to our ‘here and now’ experience with gentleness, openness and curiosity. Mindfulness invites us to disentangle from our likes and dislikes, assumptions, predictions and projections and to see things as they are.
Why do Mindfulness?
- It grounds us in the present, allowing space from the pain of the past and worry about the future.
- It increases our concentration and awareness, enabling greater focus on daily activities.
- It helps to slow things down and to learn how to experience strong emotions without acting impulsively.
- It builds self-awareness – helps us to have greater sense of our different roles, feelings, attitudes and to remain connected with these in the presence of others.
- It helps to build a sense of being in control of and responsible for our own behaviour.
- It helps with relationships, allowing us to be present and to deal with our emotions more effectively.
- It helps differentiate between past and present and reduce rumination and dissociation.
- It reduces suffering through promoting awareness and acceptance of emotional and or physical pain.
How do I practice Mindfulness?
- Bring your full attention to something in the here and now. Observe curiously, as though you have never come across something like this before.
- When your attention naturally wanders (because this is what our minds are conditioned to do), gently and patiently bring it back. When you find yourself judging, categorizing or comparing, bring your awareness back to the thing as it is, in this moment.
- Practise! Practise! Practise!
Basic Breath Mindfulness Exercise
- Breathe in through your nose to count of 4 – notice the rise of your chest
- Breathe out of your mouth to count of 4 – notice the fall of your chest
- Do this for 10 rounds of breath
When to practice?
When you first wake in the morning, before you go to bed, when you are sitting, standing, lying down, when you are brushing your teeth, making a cup of tea, doing the dishes, when you eat, drink, talk, listen. You can practice focusing on your breath, listening to the sounds around you, notice sensations in your body or bring mindfulness to your daily activities any time!
Some of many useful Mindfulness Apps/Websites you might like to check out:
- ABC Mindfully
- Insight Timer
- Smiling Miind
Good luck and let us know how your mindfulness goes!
Don't forget that our counselling team is here for you during this time. We are able to see adults, youth and children face to face or via telehealth (phone or video). We have appointments available and are here to help.