Mindfulness in Therapy
Mindfulness is a powerful tool to help us develop a new relationship to the thoughts in our head, and the feelings that coarse through our bodies.
Most people are fused with their thoughts, feelings, and moods. They believe every thought is true and every feeling is a fact.
Through Mindfulness meditation, a person can practice OBSERVING thoughts and feelings rather than FUSING with them. What’s the difference? When you fuse with your thoughts and feelings, they control you. You believe every thoughts that runs through your head, and you act out of the feeling without the power to pause and reflect first. An example would be hurling insults at others, hitting, or withholding out of the feeling of anger and a story of being victimized- the anger has possessed you if you are acting in this destructive way. In contrast, when you have the ability to observe your thoughts and feelings, more possibilities for creative action open up before you. In this case, you might notice that the story you are telling yourself is not entirely accurate, and you can experience your anger without the need to lash out. Instead, you can pause and think about what constructive action you’d like to take next, for instance asserting an important boundary or setting a limit with someone.
Mindfulness meditation is the exercise which strengthens your awareness muscles. The more you practice following your breath (or one of many mindfulness meditation techniques), the more you are priming your mind to notice thoughts and feelings in this manner.
This ability to observe thoughts and feelings without judgment is one of many tools that will help you through therapy. Think of therapy as the hour long pause that enables you to slow down long enough to observe thoughts and feelings, and refrain from action for a little while.
Now that you have more awareness of your thoughts and feelings, you will begin to notice many interesting things: how thoughts sometimes amplify feelings, how you have a tendency to repeat certain thought and feeling patterns, and, all the ways in which try to avoid your feelings. Finally, you set the stage to begin to have your feelings one by one, and put them in the context of your life’s story.
If this intrigues you, join me and together we can see how applying a mindful lens to your life might help ignite your therapy process.