“The truth behind Mindfulness Based Stressed Reduction”
Dr. Jose L. Rivera, PH.D., Mental Health Intern ( MHI )Pt. I
Does your mind ever feel like it just won’t switch off? Have you ever felt your thoughts are spinning around and around inside your head like a carousel out of control. And the more you try to stop them, the faster they seem to go. All you want is some peace within. So you may have already read about mindfulness and its ability to reduce stress and create more peace. Or perhaps a friend has been telling you its praises. You may even have seen a poster in our practice or the doctor’s office. It sounds like something you might want. No, it feels like something you need. You may have even tried it once or twice, only to give up in frustration, as your monkey mind chatters louder than ever. If you think you aren’t the “mindfulness type,” you are giving up too soon. There is a much simpler, easier way to be mindful. And I promise you, it will work just as well. What is mindfulness? Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a well-defined and systematic patient-centered educational approach which uses relatively intensive training in mindfulness meditation as the core of a program to teach people how to take better care of themselves and live healthier and more adaptive lives. In other words, MBSR is a program that helps you learn to calm your mind and body to help you cope with illness, pain, and stress.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, a world renowned expert in this subject, defines it as, “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally.” I love this definition, because it helps us understand that your attention, or awareness, is the crucial ingredient in Mindfulness. It has to be intentional, meaning you don’t leave it up to chance; you consciously bring your awareness to rest on something. Whatever you choose to be aware of is okay, as long as it is happening in the present moment. When the mind wanders you just bring it gently back to your current focus of awareness.
Most of us have normal, somewhat boring daily lives filled with mundane activities such as driving, doing the dishes, cooking a meal, or taking a shower, right? Well, how about learning to do these daily activities in a mindful way?
On my next blog, I will share personal experiences and how mindfulness can help us in our daily lives