Recently I read an article, “How Mindfulness Is Revolutionizing Mental Health Care.” It highlights the rise in mental health disorders, how mindfulness works, and the neurology when mindful versus mindless. As a therapist, I have found myself integrating it into my sessions with various types of clients of all ages. When I introduce the term and the concept, I tend to get strange looks from my clients. (Maybe they think I’m a hippy or I am trying to convert them to some religious sect.)
I explain that mindfulness is a simple practice, but it takes continual, daily practice for it to become effective.
Then in the therapy session, I guide them through a mindfulness exercise. The exercise will last between one and three minutes, and some reactions I get range from, “it was too hard to focus” to “I feel more relaxed now” and “I think I can do this everyday”.
Before I send my clients home with written exercises to practice at least for 3-5 minutes once a day, I remind them that they can use mindfulness anywhere. It can be used while waiting in line at the store, before falling asleep, during the morning routine, or during mealtime. The important part is that some time each day is spent slowing down, focusing on the present, and becoming more aware of the inner workings of you.
Mindfulness is not just for those suffering with mental health issues. when trying it and you will find its’ benefits.