Mindfulness: What is it, What are the Benefits, and How do I Practice it?
Mindfulness is a tool used to promote top-tier physical, emotional, and mental health. Over the past four decades, it has been used to treat various mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, attention deficit disorders, and personality disorders. It can also help individuals become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Mindfulness practice can be used in day-to-day life to help people stay focused on the present moment rather than worrying about the past or future.
Many different mindfulness interventions can be used, and the intent of using them is to change neural pathways in the brain related to rumination, worry, self-regulation, compassion, attention, emotional reactivity, and effect. These changes in neural pathways lead to positive outcomes in treating the previously mentioned mental health disorders. Benefits from mindfulness practice include improved emotional regulation, increased self-awareness, enhanced focus and concentration, improved sleep, decreased stress and anxiety levels, improved physical health, increased emotional resilience, and more mindful behavior.
HOW TO PRACTICE IT
- Breathing Exercises
Mindful breathing exercises are particularly impactful when practicing mindfulness because breathing is essential to life and being present in the moment. One of mindfulness’s most significant aspects is being present in the moment. Breathing exercises assist in being able to have mental clarity and be fully present. To do this, sit in a comfortable position with your eyes closed and pay attention to how your breath feels as it moves in and out of your body. If your attention wanders, acknowledge it and move back to your breath.
- Body Scan Meditation
Doing a body scan can last up to 30-45 minutes, but you can adjust the time you spend doing this to fit your needs. Using this method to practice mindfulness focuses your attention on your body and the sensations you are having without judgment. This means not labeling any aches, pains, tightness, or tension as bad but simply noticing it, breathing through it, and releasing it. There are many different positions to do this in; again, you can adjust this to your needs. You can lie on your back, sit in a chair, or do anything that feels comfortable and appropriate for you.
- Guided Imagery
This involves being guided through relaxation exercises and exploring various images through cues. It involves a visual image of a beautiful, calming place to promote relaxation. The purpose of this intervention is to provide a sense of control to the client and promote an altered sense of awareness. It allows you to communicate with the subconscious mood and be distracted from pain, discomfort, and stress.
How New Heights Counseling can help you?
New Heights Counseling offers mindfulness therapy services to help individuals work through their mental health issues. Through our sessions, we will teach you the basics of mindfulness, how to practice it, and how to use it in everyday life. Our therapists are experienced professionals who can assist you in the most effective way possible. Contact us today for more information!
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Monday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
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- Mindfulness exercises, By Mayo Clinic Staff
- How to Practice Mindfulness, By Mindful Staff
- Welcome Video, New Heights Counseling Founder & Clinical Director Colleen Wenner
About the Author:
Mariah Sumpter’s passion lies in providing counseling to those in need. She decided to attend Walden University to become a licensed clinical mental health counselor and help others. While at New Heights Counseling, Mariah uses evidence-based practices, such as mindfulness, to help individuals struggling with mental health issues. She is well-versed in different mindfulness interventions and strives to help her clients develop the skills necessary to live more peacefully.