“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”
Jon Kabit Zinn
So much of our mental suffering is caused by our fears about the future and our regrets about our past. Learning to bring attention to the present moment can be very effective for reducing worry or rumination. It can help calm and quiet excessive thinking, reduce criticism and self-judgement, and create new pathways for releasing stress and making space for acceptance of healthy emotional experience.
Mindful awareness is also about developing the ability to choose what we will pay attention to, as well as to see what is really happening - rather than what we might imagine or fear.
Through the practice of mindfulness, we also learn that we are happier when we stop comparing our present experience with our expectations of the way we think things should be, our memories, our fantasies, or other people’s experiences.
“Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.”
Jon Kabit Zinn
Learning to pay attention to what is actually happening in the moment can provide opportunities to notice when we are engaging in reactive or repetitive behaviours, therefore allowing us to identify unwanted feelings or experiences we may be avoiding.
Acceptance of emotions and situations as they really are, is nearly always a core part of the healing process. Mindfulness teaches us to have the courage to begin gently turning towards our difficult feelings and experiences with more understanding, compassion and wisdom. It increases our capacity to acknowledge and be with our true feelings - without being overwhelmed by them. Turning towards our difficult feelings, noticing them, allowing them, and letting go of the need to make them go away, will result in enormous benefits to our emotional health and well-being.
As we develop this capacity for mindful awareness, positive states of gratitude, joy and happiness begin to become more readily available. We can also become less reactive, more resilient, and better able to embrace struggles and challenges as opportunities.
I incorporate mindfulness skills and techniques into my individual counselling sessions, but if you would like to learn more about what Mindfulness is and how to incorporate it into your life, you might like to consider a 6 Week Beginners’ Mindfulness Course. These are offered in small groups of about 4 people at regular intervals throughout the year.
The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.
Qualifications & Accreditations
Bachelor of Education (B.H.M.S.Ed), Certificate of Gifted Education (C.O.G.E), Master of Counselling (M. Couns.)
Member of the Australian Counselling Association Membership Number: 15044