Mindfulness: what it is and how to apply it
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- Olivia Grande
- April 12, 2023
Is being totally focused on a single task something almost unimaginable for you?
In fact, with so much information and technology, we are conditioned to do at least two things at the same time and “if time is money ”, the more we produce in record time the better. The logic is good, the consequence not so much.
We have a fantastic ability to divide our attention, but when we do several things at the same time our focus is much smaller and superficial, as a result of which we have a high level of stress, in addition to memory and concentration impairment, warn psychologists. In this article, you will know more about mindfullness therapy in London and how we apply it.
About the mindfulness technique
There are ancient meditation techniques that seek balance, concentration and mental tranquility.
Mindfulness (“Open mind”) is a scientific meditation technique, therefore without a religious or mystical nature, divulged in the West by Jon Kabat-Zim, a researcher at the University of Massachusetts, which aimed to reduce stress .
Mindfulness proposes interaction with everyday facts and tasks in a more conscious, open and understanding way .
It is a technique based on the acceptance of our experiences, moving away from a judgmental and punitive posture, which aims to enable the creation of new responses to such experiences in a more positive and creative way.
Tended to seek only positive experiences, we create aversion to negative or unpleasant events, creating avoidance mechanisms.
However, we cannot get rid of all unpleasant situations, the more aversive these situations become, the greater our state of tension and stress and we tend to have thoughts that revisit the past or worry too much about the future, generating anguish and anxiety.
Cognitive Therapy and Mindfulness
Bearing in mind the premises of Cognitive Therapy, that thoughts precede emotions and that some beliefs direct negative thoughts, which in turn can generate suffering; we aim to reorganize dysfunctional belief patterns and move closer to realistic thinking.
In Cognitive Therapy, the mindfulness technique, the psychologist helps patients to consciously focus on their thoughts and emotions without a priori judgments, in order to pay attention to the here and now and not to be worn out “as it should be”.
This awareness and clarity of experience facilitates the detachment of negative thoughts, in addition to providing relaxation and reducing the level of stress.
Application of the technique
It’s a meditation that may seem simple, but it requires dedication and persistence, as gains come with daily practice.
It is defined by five main parameters:
- It is self-administered;
- The technique is clearly defined;
- An anchor (a type of focus) is always used to avoid distractions;
- It involves the “relaxation of logic”, it is understood that the essence is acceptance and not judgment;
- A psychophysical relaxation can be installed, with measurable muscle relaxation.
There is more than one way to apply mindfulness, the simplest way is “Mindfulness”, usually used as an anchor to breathing.
Before starting any relaxation technique, it is important to take some precautions, such as:
- Have a controlled environment, without noise or other forms of distraction;
- Having all physiological needs met, such as not being thirsty or sleepy ;
- Having a place that when sitting or lying down allows little or no discomfort;
- Bear in mind that the choice of technique must be in line with each person’s personal preferences. The idea is that it is not at all aversive to practice meditation
- Support from a suitable trainer or health professional is important.
The meditative technique of “Mindfulness”, which uses the breath as an anchor, is applied as follows:
- First, a comfortable position is chosen (sitting or lying down). It starts with two deeper breaths to start concentration.
- Gradually begin to bring attention to the moments of the body during breathing (which need not be changed).
- Attention must be kept on the breath and mind, in the present moment. Moment by moment, with every breath.
- If any distraction or thought arises, one should gently notice it and let it go.
- Before closing, attention should be brought back to the sensations of the whole body at that moment, then slowly close.
Initially the meditation can be done in just one minute, and then the time can be gradually increased. The idea is that there is enough concentration in a short time, so as not to become tiring.