Mindfulness: The cost effective treatment for anxiety, depression and stress
Mindfulness is a practice for wellbeing. It means bringing a gentle, curious and non-judging response to a given experience, either inner (thoughts, memories, feelings, bodily sensations) and outer (others, nature, events in general). Embodying a mindful attitude can be done at any given moment and anybody can do it but it requires practice, and appropriate coaching.
In mindfulness, one learns to observe things as they really are, recognizing that there are habits in our thinking style and our behaviour with the tendency to pre-determine our understanding and evaluation of ourselves, others and the world around us.
These habits are learned over the years, and reinforced by our own prejudices, expectations and the so call predictions that we form about almost everything, having us live in a sort of 'automatic pilot mode'.
In mindfulness practice we learn to cultivate an open and curious mind about what goes on in ourselves, and outside in the world, as opposed to falling into the usual automatic idea that 'I know this already'. In addition, mindfulness practice teaches us how to expand our narrowed vision of what we are registering to a wider sense of awareness where we can then realize alternatives, have gratitude for the things that do work, and give opportunity for creativity both within us and outside of us to do what is so the natural tendency of everything: to change.
A mindful attitude acknowledges that everything is ever changing and impermanent, and realizes the discomfort we experience in life is impermanent too and variable just like comfort and pleasantness.
Improving how we are as people, in order to become content with oneself and at peace with the world is not a new fresh ideal. In order for it to be made possible, we must meet our biggest fears, the ugliest ideas of ourselves, and the very unpleasant feelings we keep running away from. We tend to call those things 'weaknesses'.
Running away from them make us deficient of resilience. We learn not knowing how to handle difficult situations. Applying mindfulness in your relationships, for example, means becoming aware of what makes you upset in the first place and react in unhelpful ways. Mindfulness gives you the capacity to say what you need to say and resolve relationship struggles in a way that is helpful to everyone. You also learn to speak kindly, truthfully and openly.
Mindulness it is not simply a bunch of techniques for wellbeing. Rather it is an attitude of life, where you begin to interact with everything in more creative, resourceful and enriching ways.
With mindfulness you are able to take action to look after your own inner experience gently and kindly. In the world today, ever so demanding and pressurizing of our skills and energy both physically and mentally, having the ability to respond gently and in more helpful ways to stress is a powerful advantage and needed resource.
You don't need to have any faith in this practice for it to work. You know it will give you results because you will experience things and relationships to be different as you go along practicing. You will learn how not to struggle with the outcomes of life, and generate enough energy to make things different and/or adapt to new realities, and yet not needing to have a battle within yourself or with the world to make that happen.
With mindfulness you will live your life different, because moment by moment you will no longer see the world through your thoughts and feelings about that experience, but despite those thoughts and feelings. This way the things that usually bother you will no longer change your direction towards highest goals in life, and so you will be able to keep on moving in the direction that you value most no matter what your thoughts and feelings about what happens between here and there may be.
So to summarise, learning to nurture a mindful attitude in life, means having enough resilience so you can achieve your highest goals, having kindness so you are flexible to understand and welcome change from wherever it may come, and curiosity and non-judgment to help you use whichever outcome you get in your favour, and trust that the best solution is in actually how you welcome this very moment.
Only by learning how to practice mindfulness, can you really understand how to make this possible. The help of an experienced and appropriately trained coach can help you step-by-step bringing mindfulness to your daily life.
Related articles from our experts
- Awkward and anxious
Marilyn McKenzie BSc, PGDip, MBACP18th April, 2018
- Acknowledging our difficulties can turn anger and anxiety into self-compassion
Alessio Rizzo, UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist, MA, MSc, MBACP16th April, 2018
- Healing From Trauma
Tania Freeman - MBACP registered Creative Arts Counsellor15th April, 2018
- How to be counselled - a beginners guide
Dahlian Kirby7th April, 2018
- I am "Mental Health Issue" - I don't discriminate
Adam Johnson Dip.Couns,3rd April, 2018
- The trouble with holidays
Denise Spinney3rd April, 2018
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.