Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present moment and bringing awareness to your thoughts, feelings, and senses through a nonjudgmental lens. The two main components of mindfulness are awareness and acceptance. Awareness refers to bringing your attention to your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations and noticing them as they happen. Acceptance is the practice of nonjudgmental noticing of your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. It is bringing attention to these thoughts and feelings without evaluating them. For example, you may notice “I am feeling tired.” This is simply stating a fact about your current state rather than a negative evaluation such as, “I should have gotten more sleep last night.”
Mindfulness can help with:
· Symptoms of anxiety and depression
· Relationship satisfaction
· Emotion management
· Managing stress
· Improving focus and memory
· Breaking the cycle of rumination (repeating thoughts)
How to practice mindfulness:
· Five Senses: Take time to notice your current sensory experience. Make note of:
o 5 things you see
o 4 things you feel
o 3 things you hear
o 2 things you taste
o 1 thing you smell
· Mindfulness Meditation:
o While sitting in a comfortable position, notice your breathing. Pay attention to the feeling of the air filling your lungs as you breathe in and notice the physical sensation as the air leave. Your mind will wander during this exercise. Allow yourself to notice your thoughts as they come and turn your mind back to your breath.
If you or someone you know is struggling with issues related to depression and anxiety, there are many resources available to assist in the process of support and problem-solving, including professional counseling. Call (215) 487-1330 or email us at Greenridge@intercommunityaction.org for more information about our counseling services, which include one-on-one therapy with a trained clinician.
Author: Lauren Matturro, M.A.
Davis, D. M., & Hayes, J. A. (2011). What are the benefits of mindfulness? A practice review of psychotherapy-related research. Psychotherapy, 48(2), 198. Retrieved from https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-worksheet/what-is-mindfulness.