Mindfulness is the practice of noticing. It involves increasing our awareness of what is happening in the present moment, both within ourselves and in our external environment. Practicing mindfulness requires us to direct our attention to the present moment with acceptance and step back from automatic judgments that might arise.
Research indicates that the benefits of mindfulness include:
- Decreased depression and anxiety
- Improved stress and immune response
- Increased academic and workplace concentration and success
- Enhanced ability to manage chronic illness and pain
- Improvements in health and health related behaviors
Mindfulness and Therapy
The ability to notice is essential to effective therapy. In order to improve our well-being, we must first notice what may be standing in the way. As we gain insight into patterns and automatic habits through the practice of mindfully noticing, we create space to choose and respond in new ways that align with our values and goals.
Mindfulness is also an effective way to slow our body and our mind, allowing our soothing system to engage and support us in our efforts to decrease our response to physical and emotional stressors.
Mindfulness may be incorporated into individual counseling session in formal or informal ways. Clients are encouraged to practice incorporating mindfulness into daily living.