Mindfulness is the state of being aware of our thoughts and behaviors. The practice is often taught through mediation to encourage an intense and active focus on our surroundings, thoughts, and feelings in a mindset free from judgment. The goal of mindfulness is to create an active and present mindset.
Why should be strive to be more mindful in 2023? Because it helps us live more fully in the moment, instead of dwelling on the past or the future.
Mindfulness is a tool that can be used together with other therapeutic methods to provide relief and act as a treatment for life’s challenges, including substance use and mental health disorders. It works by increasing control of our minds. Other benefits are: stress relief; improved quality of sleep; the prevention of cardiovascular disease; lowering of blood pressure; and reduction in chronic pain.
So, how does mindfulness work?
Take a Seat: Find a calm and quiet place to be.
Set a Time Limit: In the beginning, five or ten minutes is great.
Notice Your Body: Make sure you are in a comfortable position. Feel where you’re tight or tense, and intentionally relax those places.
Feel Your Breathing.: Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes in and out. Breathing is your anchor to the present moment.
Notice When Your Mind Wanders: This is normal. Take your mind by the hand and lead it back to where it needs to be. Be kind to yourself as you do this. No judging or obsessing. Just come back to a place of mindfulness.
Practice staying present. Feel the peace of the moment. Feel where you are today. And don’t turn away from the painful things in your life. This helps you learn to remain open to all possibilities in each situation and increases the chances for healing and transformation.
Be careful not to try too hard. Don’t try to make anything happen, or to achieve any special states or any effects. Simply relax and pay as much attention as you can to what is here now. Whatever form that takes. Allow yourself to experience the time as it unfolds, paying careful and open-hearted attention.
If L.A. CADA can help with behavioral healthcare, give us a call at (562) 906-2676.