It’s easy to get swept away by our thoughts, especially in the face of strong emotions. We get stuck ruminating and dwelling about the past, filled with guilt or regret. Or our minds start racing and we can’t stop worrying about the future and imagining all the things that could go wrong. Or we replay conversations over and over again in our heads, trying to make sense of them or figure out what we could have said differently.
When our minds get going like this, not only is it exhausting; these patterns of thinking tend to make us feel bad, intensifying the emotions we’re already feeling and generating additional negative emotions as well. Because this experience is so unpleasant, it’s natural to want to these thoughts to stop, and to be able to prevent yourself from even having them in the first place. We often wind up trying to make these thoughts go away, and shut them out completely and make sure they don’t come back. But just like we can’t control our emotions or suppress our emotions, neither can we control or suppress our thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »
It would be great if we could go about our whole day completely mindful, bringing our full attention to whatever we’re doing, while we’re doing it, and not getting carried away by distractions or thoughts of the past or about the future. But although mindfulness sounds simple, it does require effort. It takes a continual effort to notice when our mind’s started to wander and keep bringing it back to the present, and it’s not something most of us can do all day long. Read the rest of this entry »
We often talk about two broad categories of mindfulness practice. Formal mindfulness involves setting aside some time specifically for practicing mindfulness as we do when we engage in mindfulness meditation. Informal mindfulness, on the other hand, refers to finding ways to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives. Read the rest of this entry »
The first is called the Three Minute Breathing Space, and it was developed as part of the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy program for people with depression. Like the Breathing Time Out, it’s a way to bring your attention to the present, give yourself a break from whatever stress or emotions have been building up, and then return to the rest of your day, more refreshed and focused on the present. Read the rest of this entry »
Just as a time out can be an effective way to help children calm down when they are acting out and starting to get out of control, when our thoughts and emotions start getting carried away, a time out is a great tool to help calm ourselves. Read the rest of this entry »
But as people recognize how difficult it can be to stay mindful in our digital world, applications are being developed to help prevent us from getting too caught up in all the technoogy that surrounds us, and offering ways to come back to the present and be more mindful. Read the rest of this entry »
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is an approach to therapy based on the mindfulness-based stress reduction program (MBSR) developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. MBCT adapts MBSR to treat depression by incorporating aspect of cognitive therapy into mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. MBCT is also helpful in helping deal with anxiety and panic.
Mindfulness meditation is one way to practice mindfulness, but since being mindful simply involves paying attention to the present moment, mindfulness can be brought to anything you do. Becoming more mindful takes practice, and mindfulness meditation is good tool to learn to be more mindful.
For more information about how you could benefit from mindfulness-based therapy, visit my mindfulness therapy webpage. To make an appointment for counselling or therapy in Toronto, please call me at 416-516-6024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.