Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment. When we are mindful, we slow ourselves down and observe how we are feeling and what is happening in the moment. Most of us go through life with knee jerk reactions and programmed “tapes” that play in our heads, and we are tossed about by whatever shows up. When we are mindful, we create some space in between what is happening and our reaction to it. For example, if we experience a flash of anger that would typically produce certain thoughts or actions automatically, we slow ourselves down for a moment and notice the thought or feeling first. This might look and sound something like, “Ah, here it is. Here is my anger. My chest feels tight and I feel like lashing out.” Creating this space allows for the possibility to choose a different response. Another example might be a depressed thought and feeling. Creating space to observe the experience allows us to feel less attached to it, again allowing for new possibilities. Mindfulness takes practice, and the results, which include an increased sense of well being, are worth the effort.
Talk to your therapist about mindfulness if you would like to work on integrating this practice into your life. All of the therapists at Karuna are familiar with these concepts and practices and would be happy to discuss them with you .