As a long-time meditator, Mindfulness or Present Centered Awareness is key in my approach to healing, and is one of the most life-changing techniques of my practice. Many clients are mired in past traumas and are preoccupied with warding off imagined future dangers–even the fear of joy. Or they are clinging to hoped-for security.
By incorporating mindfulness tools into our lives, we move toward a state where there is no fear of a future that hasn’t yet happened, and no beating ourselves up about a past that already has. Meditation is one tool we can use, but there are many other activities we can engage in where we can practice being present for a few moments at a time. Being in the present moment, without judgment of good or bad, is something we must be introduced to and practice regularly as it rarely happens spontaneously in our hectic lives.
But ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’ benefits us in many ways. It can slow us down, reduce impulsive desires, reactivity, anxiety and depression; increase our sense of well-being, our sense of safety and self-mastery; decrease negative and self-defeating thinking, and help us to develop and increase our inner resilience.
When mindfulness is integrated into psychotherapy, clients are more empowered, more in touch with feelings, more responsive and less reactive in their lives. They are more in touch with possibility and what they want in life. They are more open to changing negative (often unconscious) core beliefs into life affirming beliefs that are amenable to action and positive change.