Practicing mindfulness is a way of bringing yourself back to your body and creates an awareness of what you are actually feeling by paying attention to breathing, in order to focus on the here and now—not what might have been or what you’re worried could be. Really listen without judgment, so a real sense of self-awareness can develop.
The ultimate goal is to give you enough distance from disturbing thoughts and emotions to be able to observe them without immediately reacting to them.
In the last few years mindfulness has emerged as a way of treating children and adolescents with conditions ranging from ADHD to anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, depression and stress. And the benefits are proving to be tremendous. Stress reduction and self-acceptance are particularly important during the drama and turmoil-filled teen years..
The reality is we live in a very fast paced world where we are increasingly becoming disconnected from ourselves and our humanity. We are constantly bombarded with emails, texts, the internet and cell phones. These things seem to require our immediate attention constantly.
As a result of this technology, we have become detached; we don’t feel our bodies and are out of touch with them from the neck down. All of this lack of presence can cause tremendous stress and anxiety. It can also cause us to not be present to what we are actually feeling.
Practising mindfulness helps you:
- to be fully present, here and now
- to reduce the impact and influence of stressful thoughts and feelings
- to experience unpleasant thoughts and feelings safely
- to become aware of what you’re avoiding
- to become more connected to yourself, to others and to the world around you
- to increase self-awareness
- to become less disturbed by and less reactive to unpleasant experiences
- to learn the distinction between you and your thoughts
- to have more direct contact with the world, rather than living through your thoughts
- to learn that everything changes; that thoughts and feelings come and go like the weather
- to have more balance, less emotional volatility
- to experience more calm and peacefulness
- to develop self-acceptance and self-compassion
- to enhance psychological health