Not Convinced About Mindfulness?

Sometimes I encounter people who are just not convinced about mindfulness, and its many benefits.

If you are not living mindfully, then you are living your days on auto-pilot, and not experiencing life fully!

not convinced about mindfulness as an alternative to living on auto pilot?

Does the following sound familiar …

Have you ever driven to work, with your mind on so many other things, that when you arrive you can’t even remember the trip?

Perhaps you were thinking and planning the day ahead, or remembering a conversation with your boss.

Then your thoughts jumped to what to have for dinner that night – should you stop at the supermarket? Oh, and don’t forget you need to pick the dog up from the vet!

By this stage you are feeling so overwhelmed by your busy mind you start wishing you could go on a holiday, and start day-dreaming about possible destinations …

When you stop and think about it – it is amazing how much of our time we spend inside our heads – thinking about the past and the future, worrying about lots of little things.

But what about the present?

When we are spending so much time inside our heads, no wonder we get overwhelmed!

This is what life is like when we are living on auto-pilot.

Mindfulness on the other hand, is about experiencing life in the ‘here-and-now,’ and being fully present in the moment.

To be mindful means to just observe your experience, rather than analysing it all the time. Mindfulness aims to shift one’s focus away from thinking, to simply observing one’s surroundings, thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.

Instead of multi-tasking, mindfulness is about focusing on one thing at a time.

Yes, distracting thoughts will emerge. However, with mindfulness we can learn to acknowledge that we have drifted off into thinking mode, and gently return to observing our experience.

Benefits of Mindfulness

According to the research, making a conscious effort to be mindful on a regular basis results in:

  • Lower stress levels;
  • Less worrying and rumination;
  • Fewer depressive symptoms;
  • Improved concentration levels;
  • Improved memory;
  • Effective emotion regulation;
  • Greater relationship satisfaction.

Have I convinced you yet of the benefits of mindfulness?

If you are ready to embrace mindfulness, here are a couple of ways to introduce it into your daily living.

Try Mindfulness Today

  1. Mindful breathing: Perhaps the easiest way to start practising mindfulness, is with your breathing. Sit down in a comfortable chair. Slowly breathe in through your nose, bringing your awareness to the air filling your body. Notice your stomach rise as the air reaches your diaphragm. And then slowly breathe out through your mouth, focusing on the feeling of air leaving your body and your shoulders relaxing. Repeat this a few times, allowing yourself to be still. If you notice that you are distracted by thoughts, just gently bring your awareness back to your breathing.
  2. Mindful eating: Another way to practice mindfulness is to select a piece of food, such as a raisin or piece of chocolate. Take a moment to hold the food in your hands. Look at it. Notice the colour and the texture. How would you describe it? Bring the food up to your nose, and bring your awareness to the smell. Is it sweet? Does it make your mouth start to water? Then place the food in your mouth and notice the taste. Focus on this. Allow yourself to be immersed in the activity.

One of the many ways that a psychologist can help you with your mental and emotional wellbeing, is to teach you how to embrace mindfulness and its many benefits.


Tegan Gonczar depression counsellingAuthor:
Tegan Gonczar, BA (Hons), Grad Dip Ed (Secondary).

Tegan Gonczar is a Brisbane psychologist with experience in providing psychological counselling to children, adolescents and adults; she has a passion for working with people of all ages, to help them overcome obstacles, learn effective ways of coping and lead happier and more fulfilling lives.

Bookings and Fees: To make an appointment with Brisbane Psychologist Tegan Gonczar, try Online Booking – Loganholme or call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129.

References:

  • Davis, D. M. & Hayes, J.A. (2011). What Are the Benefits of Mindfulness? A Practice Review of Psychotherapy-Related Research. Psychotherapy, 48(2), 198-208.
  • Doyle, O. (2016). Mindfulness for life: A six-week guide to inner peace. Orion publishing group, London.