Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mindfulness Therapy For Stress Reduction

We all have stress in our lives on a day to day basis. We inevitably all experience pain or worry to a certain degree as a result of this stress. Sometimes the cause of this worry is something small and manageable and other times there are life situations that cause us as individuals to experience pain and worry that is significant enough that it seemingly takes over who we are. In either case when left unchecked these worries can have a negative overall effect on our well-being. Mindfulness therapy can help us deal with these problems weather the stress you may be experiencing is large or small in nature.

Mindfulness Therapy

The key to mindfulness therapy is learning how to become aware of the present moment in life. All too often we tend to focus our attention on the pain of the past and the worry of the future. When this happens we spend a significant amount of time and energy dealing with our own self talk or mental chatter. Self talk is the internal silent dialogue of thoughts that we have with ourselves throughout the day. When this internal self talk causes us to suffer by strongly resisting pain, sadly it can cause us to miss out on the experiences of the present moment. Sometimes people go through their entire lives in this manner being constantly stuck in the past or worried about the future. This can lead to problems with both depression and anxiety.

Mindfulness therapy can help in both of these situations. Mindfulness practice is best achieved through daily meditation. This practice has been in existence for thousands of years. Many people, particularly in western culture are somewhat skeptical of mindfulness meditation. There are preconceived notions that mindfulness meditation is an unorthodox far eastern religious practice. In fact this practice has nothing to do with religion and has been well adapted to fit the Western Culture. Additionally some are intimidated by the idea of mindfulness therapy meditation because of the misconception that only highly spiritual individuals can practice meditation in an effort to achieve enlightenment or that it is difficult. These ideas simply are not true.

Mindfulness meditation is easy to do and can be practiced by anyone. For beginners guided meditation is very effective at reducing stress, and anxiety. With guided meditation you simply find a comfortable chair to sit in, close your eyes and listen to an audio recording of a meditation instructor. There is usually an emphasis placed on noticing your breathing to help the practitioner become more acutely aware of the present moment.

Additionally there are usually some words that you will be instructed to focus on, also with the goal of decreasing your mental chatter and increasing your awareness of the present. Guided meditation recordings are usually 20 minutes long, and it is recommended that you make time for yourself to do this 2 times a day in order for the practice to be effective.

I have personally found it very rewarding to make it a priority to devote at least 40 minutes a day to my own personal well being. I recommend the guided meditations by Christopher Germer or Tara Brach. They both offer free guided meditations that you can download to your computer or an MP3 device. Christopher Germer also has a book that I found helpful in explaining the principles and benefits of this practice. You can read more such type of health articles on

Carolina Monroe Written by: Carolina
Way To Be Healthy Updated at: 10:33 PM


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