Mindfulness, or Mindful Psychology, is not just a bunch of exercises. It is not “just do your breathing exercise … and that’s it…” – it is so much more than this!
Here at Inspire Mindful Psychology, we believe you can never just “Do Mindfulness”. We however can become mindful. Mindful for us; for others; for understanding ourself and others; for becoming connected, loving and loved. If we are mindful, we can never be lonely. This is what makes ‘mindfulness’ a hot topic in psychology right now.
So what is it?
Mindfulness could be defined scientifically, as a level of consciousness or awareness that arises through the use of intentional and purposeful attention that involves guided focus on the present moment in a non-judgemental and accepting way (Gu, Strauss, Bond & Cavanagh, 2015). Mindfulness has its strong roots in Buddhist philosophy and meditation. It was often found to be a fundamental part of Tai Chi and yoga since ancient times, but in the more recent era it has also been adapted for use in, what you hear being often called, ‘Western Psychology’.
How can we use mindfulness in psychology?
Mindfulness has been used in a variety of ways in psychotherapy. For example, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is an evidence-based treatment that has been found to be effective for individuals who suffer from depression (Teasdale, Segal, & Williams, 1995). MBCT combines cognitive therapy with mindfulness meditation in order to help people become more aware of their thoughts and emotions. But what good psychotherapy, in fact, is not based on growing mindful skills? It is great however that MBCT emphasised, even in the very name of the therapy approach, the fundamental importance of mindful thinking and behaviour.
So what makes this practice so popular in psychology today?
For a number of reasons…
Firstly, becoming more mindful has been found to lead to better and more efficient treatment outcomes in regards to a variety of mental health disorders.
Secondly, mindfulness can be used as a preventative measure to help people prevent developing mental health problems in the first place.
Finally, once learned correctly and indeed mindfully internalised, the mindfulness skills are something that a person can, not only practice occasionally, but successfully live by and create their life to be better and to have much desired quality. When starting to be mindful and live mindfully, you would not be easily shattered by emotional distress.
How do I learn mindfulness?
After initially seeing a Psychologist or Clinical Psychologist in order to learn about mindfulness skills and about your own mindful self, you will see that you do not ever need to “do mindfulness exercises” in order to benefit from it. You need to practice being mindful towards yourself, towards others and towards the world, in order to embrace and own this amazing living skill. Imagine, it is the important hygiene for your inner-being. Like brushing your teeth being the hygiene for your teeth. You brush your teeth not as an “exercise”. Right? You do it so you have a healthy mouth, and can enjoy eating and talking when close to those around you. Similarly, you practice mindfulness not as an exercise, but as a way of improving your own self.
Being mindful can bring joy to you and to others – no loneliness anymore, no judgemental suffering, no deep hurting.
So now I know what it is, what are the next steps?
If you are interested in learning more about mindfully and be the mindful person who can experience many joyful moments and smiles each day, no matter how challenging life situations might be at some moments, then please contact us today. One of our friendly Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists or Neuropsychologists will be there for you.
Our therapy rooms are situated on the Gold Coast for in-person sessions, as well as Australia-wide via Telehealth. Let us help you and Inspire you to take the first step on your Mindful Psychology journey today. Our privilege will be indeed to see you smile with joy.
Gu, J., Strauss, C., Bond, R., & Cavanagh, K. (2015). How do mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction improve mental health and wellbeing? A systematic review and meta-analysis of mediation studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 37, 1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2015.01.006
Teasdale, JD., Segal, Z., & Williams, JM. (1995). How does cognitive therapy prevent depressive relapse and why should attentional control (mindfulness) training help? Behav Res Ther, 33(1), 25-39. doi: 10.1016/0005-7967(94)e0011-7