Mindfulness is a state of being where we’re deliberately and completely aware of our thoughts, emotions and experiences, without distraction and judgement. In therapy, mindfulness allows us to become attuned to and connected with bodily sensations, cognitions and feelings, helping us to accept them without being controlled or heavily influenced by them.
It can become incredibly easy for our thoughts to accumulate and spiral – often without us being completely aware of the build up. Mindful practices – such as meditation – can be incorporated into therapies and aim to teach us how to break away from unhelpful or negative thought patterns that can cause us to spiral into a depressive state. It invites us to become aware of that accumulation, and allows us to separate ourselves from negative thought patterns, emotions, and bodily sensations that would otherwise become overwhelming or harmful.
Ultimately, mindfulness can relieve symptoms of mental health concerns and physical pain.
Some of the problems mindfulness can address include:
- Chronic pain
- Depression or anxiety
- Eating and food issues
- Panic attacks
- Borderline personality disorder
- Substance dependence
- Self-harm and suicide ideation
The state of awareness that we gain through mindfulness makes it easier to embrace other therapeutic strategies and emotional healing.