You’ve probably heard a lot about mindfulness. We hear about it doing everything from helping people manage pain, alleviate anxiety and depression, and even helping with weight loss. How, and what exactly does mindfulness mean? Aren’t we always being mindful of what we are doing? Not exactly. Think about how often you are doing one thing but thinking about another.
Mindfulness is a practice in which you focus on the physical feelings of what you are doing and maintain a moment-by-moment awareness. If you are someone who enjoys sensory activities, try a mindfulness exercise with play-doh or hand cream. Focus on how it feels on your hands. Try to think about nothing other than the feeling, scent, and look of what is in your hands.
It’s important to focus on all this without judging the experience as good or bad. Some people find mindfulness easier than other forms of meditation because it does not require that you “clear” the mind. Instead, you have something to focus on and that focus can take you out of feelings of anxiety and put you in a calmer state. Of course, simply practicing mindfulness will not address everyone’s anxiety. Another step in addressing any mental health symptoms is taking a free and anonymous screening, which Beck Psychotherapy offers at http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com.