January 5, 2018 · 10:56 am
Mindfulness is a term that is being used a lot at the moment, but do you know what it’s actually all about?
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness started out as a practise in India about 2500 years ago. It was created as a type of mediation that allowed the practitioner to be present in the moment and to notice what was happening in their own mind. To notice their thoughts, feelings and emotions and give themselves the time and space to look at them, hear them and to react to them in a non judgemental, balanced way.
There is a direct correlation between our thoughts, emotions and behaviours. Think about this for a moment..
You wake up in a great mood. ‘Today is going to be a good day’ you think to yourself. You get up, go through your morning routine and leave the house. When you get to work you see a parking space and get ready to move into it. Just as you are about to take the space someone else grabs it. How do you feel? What do you do?
Now, go through the same scenario but with you waking up in a terrible mood, convinced that today is going to be a nightmare. Now how do you feel? What do you do?
Did you get the same response each time? If you’re being honest with yourself, probably not. Yet both of the situations were identical apart from the first thoughts and emotions you were feeling. See how they can influence things?
One very effective form of therapy is CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy. It uses the same principles of analytically looking at our own thoughts and deciding if they are appropriate or not and then adjusting them accordingly. For instance if someone was suffering from OCD they may have a thought or belief pattern that makes them believe that if they do not carry out a certain action or set of actions then bad things will happen. Using mindfulness and or CBT techniques, they would learn to be able to notice these thoughts and to consider them in a balanced non judgemental way. With practice this can change and alter them into healthier patterns, which in turn, changes their behaviours.
Mindfulness is more than just this though. It is the ability to be in the moment. To fully appreciate what you are experiencing.
How many times have you not enjoyed something because you were worried about something else? Lost yourself in your fears that were totally unnecessary? Many of the clients I see as a Hypnotherapist suffer from social anxiety. This can be crippling and stop people enjoying their life, yet it doesn’t have to be the case. Simply learning and practicing mindfulness can eliminate it entirely.
In some ways Mindfulness is like a work out for your mind. It strengthens it, makes it more flexible and more able to handle things if and when they get tough. It’s like exercise in another way as well – it takes training and practice to get good at it. In this way your mind is like a muscle. You need to exercise it, to make it stronger before you have to do the heavy lifting or the marathon. You start small, get frustrated, keep at it and get better.
So, next time you think about a bit of self-care or self-improvement, you might want to consider getting yourself on a mindfulness course. Start small, practice and get stronger so that you are mentally as well as physically ready for anything life throws at you, and if someone asks you what is mindfulness, you’ll be able to tell them.
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August 23, 2014 · 1:29 pm
Have you ever done the lottery?
Have you ever imagined what you would do with all the money if you won?
We’re you utterly devastated when your numbers didn’t come up?
Did you know that the odds of getting all 6 numbers in the lottery (without the bonus ball) are almost 14 million to one? Did you also know that in the UK there are about 124,000 heart attacks each year. That means that you are a lot more likely to have a heart attack on your way to buy your ticket, than you are of actually winning? Does that stop people? NO! and nor should it, though you might want to think about a low fat diet and a bit of exercise!
The thing is, we don’t always think logically.
We don’t weigh up the odds and take the most sensible course of action, particularly when our emotions get involved. Worry, Phobias, Fear and Anxiety are the negative sides to this. CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a therapy used to help people with these issues. One of the things it tries to teach people is how to look at the risk factors – the chances of things happening. For example, is someone has a fear of flying they may believe that if they go up in an aeroplane, that there is a high risk of them dying. In reality that risk is incredibly small. If they start to look at the numbers they will soon realise that there is much more danger to them getting to and from the airport, than they will ever face when the plane is in the air. This can be really hard for people to accept though, because they focus on their fears.
Do you ever play slot machines? If you play occasionally there is a chance (though small) that you may come away with more money than you put in. If you play regularly or consistently (particularly on the same machine) then the chances of you ‘winning’ reduce with every game you play. The machines are created to make money, therefore the odds are built in that it will take more than it gives out. Do you think this stops people from playing? Take a look around any large casino and you will quickly see that the answer is No, because people focus on the wins.
Sometimes if someone has been hurt in a relationship they will avoid getting into similar relationships as they believe the same thing will happen again. Their focus is on the Pain.
If you have a fear or anxiety about something happening it’s worth trying to think about it logically, and if you can’t do that then speak to someone who can put it into a different perspective for you. Therapists are useful for this as they have no personal agenda, but friends and family can be great too. Listen to what they have to say, weigh up the odds, focus on the positive and ask yourself…
What are the chances?
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Tagged as anxiety, CBT, chance, fear, growth, help, mindfulness, Motivation, phobia, Self-Help, Subconscious, thoughts, worrying, www.talktherapies.co.uk