What is it? Mindfulness is the ability to stay present in the moment without judging the images, thoughts or feelings that distract you from connecting with that moment, be it interacting with person, place or thing.
What does this mean? It means we can get off the hamster wheel of useless thoughts, calm the monkey mind of high distractibility and focus on feeling better about ourselves.
What is the benefit? There is a fair amount of research backing up the notion that mindfulness can:
- Lower blood pressure
- Clear the mind
- Recharge the ‘batteries’
- Rebalance and protect the brain by increasing internal signaling connections
- Lowers stress: the US Marine Corps is examining the effect of mindfulness in how soldiers handle and recover from stress
- Decreases loneliness in the elderly
- Improves immune system
- Supports weight loss
- Sleep well
- Get rid of a headache
Where can I learn this and how long does it take? I have several approaches to teaching mindfulness; most begin with focus on the breath. Breathing deeply and easily relaxes the body, lowers the heart rate and calms the mind. The length of time required to learn this depends upon you and how much you want to learn.
Because mindfulness training has demonstrated good psychological benefits, I incorporate it in the psychotherapy if the client is interested.
I also teach mindfulness as part of Resilience Training.