Feeling overworked and stressed out! Mindfulness based stress therapy, may be the answer for you!
In today’s society, most of us have multiple roles: I am a therapist, business owner, wife, mother of two daughters, ages 11 & 14, mother of a one year old puppy girl named Colby, daughter, sister, friend, “uber” driver (to my kids), grocery shopper, appointment maker, vacation planner, the list goes on and on. How do we get it all done? I know that I have felt overwhelmed and have thought to myself “calgon, take me away” or “Boy, I could use a vacation”. The issue is that all of my roles and responsibilities will still be there after the vacation.
So what will help?
I recommend living in the moment. Many of us have heard the expression: “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present”.-Bill Keane
However, living our lives this way is easier said than done. During therapy sessions the use of mindfulness is a powerful tool. The wonderful thing about mindfulness is that anyone can do it. Whether you are age 3 or 103 it is a tool that can be adapted and utilized. Mindfulness can also occur in most locations. It’s important to think “outside of the box”. I remember going on a trip. While I was on the plane I meditated. This helped me to feel “grounded” and comfortable about my upcoming trip. I also used mindfulness in doctor’s offices. I suffer from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is an auto-immune disorder of the thyroid. I needed to have a biopsy done. The idea of having several needles go into my neck was not the most enjoyable thought. In fact it was stressful. I took out my phone and proceeded to meditate. I remember my doctor and her assistant loved this idea. They commented how beneficial this would be for other clients.
Many of our clients have shared the following myths about mindfulness: “I won’t be able to sit still”. I can’t focus for that long”. “It will be too hard”. I debunk the myths and explain what mindfulness/meditation is and what it isn’t. Mindfulness is about living in the now, having the power to be fully present and aware of our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations (due to holding feelings inside) without judgment. It allows us to be alone with our thoughts and feelings, without any outside distractions. It is not about pushing the thoughts away. Mindfulness is about noticing and accepting the thoughts. Once client hear this, they seem more at ease with this notion and agree to give it a try.
Benefits of Mindulness
According to research there are many benefits to utilizing mindfulness on a daily basis. The following are some of the benefits:
- Increased attention
- Ability to focus
- Increase self-control
- Improved mental clarity
- Higher emotional intelligence
- Acceptance for self and others
Will I actually see results?
Mindfulness takes time-it is not a quick fix. I explain that we need to build our mind muscle, much in the same way that one goes to the gym to build their body muscles. Just like any goal one sets, it takes time and practice. Meditation is no different. Generally it takes approximately 7 weeks of daily practice to feel the full benefits.
At Exceptional Wellness Counseling we offer mindfulness in groups as well as with some of our therapists. To learn more please feel free to call out office at: 908-415-2042.