Our world is often busy, hectic and chaotic.
- Are you constantly on the move and do you find it difficult to relax, even when you have time for it?
- Do you feel lethargic, like gravity is pulling you down and you don’t have enough energy to motivate yourself?
- Do you wish you had the tools to reset your system and rebalance yourself to give you the energy to experience life with more fulfillment, peace and happiness?
Living in the moment is very challenging. You may find yourself worrying about the present or ruminating on the past. You may feel like you are constantly on the go with the next task close at hand. Or you may feel like you can’t get out of bed, believing that life is too much to handle and you don’t have the energy to know what it’s like to be alive. You may feel stuck and trapped in your own skin. Anxiety can either mobilize or immobilize our life experience. You may even have a combination of the two ends of the spectrum, which may create instability in your life experience both internally and externally. Whatever avenue stress takes, Mindfulness Therapy can help you take control of your life.
Understanding Mindfulness Therapy
Mindfulness therapy is a tool to help us develop skills that cultivate a sense of inner peace, serenity and happiness. John Kabot-Zinn, a pioneer in the field of Mindfulness Therapy, is credited with bringing Mindfulness Therapy practices to the United States. The theory behind mindfulness is based on eastern philosophy and Buddhist principles. Kabot-Zinn states that “Mindfulness Therapy involves being in each moment as it is, without judgment or striving…It's a relaxed state of awareness that observes both your inner world of thoughts, feelings and sensations, and the outer world of constantly changing phenomena without trying to control anything.” Bringing your full attention into the moment is a mindfulness practice, and even though it sounds simple, it’s not.
In our everyday lives, we are constantly influenced by wanting something we don’t have, or having something we don’t want. External happiness is often fleeting. Our lives constantly revolve around this roller coaster of temporary happiness and running from or avoiding pain. We seek happiness and end up suffering. The kind of happiness we need is an internal process, which is consistent, not temporary. Mindfulness Therapy provides us with tools that can help us to experience this.
The Dalai Lama explains that educating ourselves specifically on understanding and using tools that lead to lasting happiness is significant because the more you know about what makes you happy and what doesn’t, the more effective you will be in achieving happiness.
In the Dalai Lama’s book, “The Art of Happiness,” he emphasizes how training the mind involves the idea that positive states can act as direct antidotes to negative states of mind. Positive mental states that lead to happiness include:
Negative mental states that lead to suffering are:
Intentionally focusing on positive mental states that lead to happiness and challenging negative states that lead to suffering, requires mind training. An effective tool for this is Mindfulness Therapy because it allows ourselves to stay in the moment, to separate from our thoughts that carry “attachment” or “aversion” messages much of the time. After successful mindfulness training, we start to orient towards what makes us ultimate happiness and what gives us peace.
Learn Mindfulness To Live A Peaceful Life
Mindfulness Therapy is similar in some ways to getting exercise and going to the gym. The more you work with it, the stronger your muscles are and the better you feel. Sitting with your eyes closed while paying attention to the breath is training your mind.
During Mindfulness Therapy, I can help you develop these meditation skills. You will learn that meditation is not about trying to stop the thoughts or change them. It’s normal to have thoughts. Mindfulness Therapy and meditation is about recognizing when you’re “thinking” and then bringing your awareness back to the present by focusing on your breath. The point is not to engage with the thoughts but to let them come and go, like clouds floating in the sky.
After a few sessions, Mindfulness Therapy can help you strengthen our ability to focus, to feel more relaxed, settled and grounded. When you are in this mode, you can feel better about who you are, how you behave and what you think.
Mindfulness Therapy can actually shift your nervous system from a stress response to a relaxation response. This can change your biochemistry and increases your immune functioning, your “feel good” hormones, as well as reduce your stress levels.
John Kabat-Zinn says that “Mindfulness Therapy involves a formal practice and an informal practice. In formal practice we take time for sitting meditation or mindful movement practices like walking meditation or yoga. Informal practice is a way of life in which we meditate as we do what we do. It involves being present in the moments to experience our emotions, and feel at peace, and content. When you are here, you can have the experience of your life.”
Depending on your needs and interests, I can integrate Mindfulness Therapy into your sessions and help you to develop the skills to have more peace in your life and create a mindfulness practice of your own.
For more information about John Kabot-Zinn please see the following link:
Learn More About How Mindfulness Therapy Can Help You
If you are interested in learning more about how mindfulness therapy can help you, please call or email me with a time when you’re available to talk. I offer a free 15 to 20-minute consultation, during which we can talk about any questions and concerns you may have.