Some imagine that it’s a hippy dippy meditation technique, others that it’s a more complex philosophy for living.
Actually, for me maybe it’s both of those, and neither of those.
Mindfulness is a simple theory with many many applications.
Why do I include it here on my CBT resource blog? Because the ‘third wave’ of CBT is holistic, which is to say it encompasses all of the best practice and proven (evidence based) practical ways to manage emotional health – including the philosophies of the West and the East, from Epictetus to Buddha, wrapping in Acceptance and Living in the Present, and, of course, Mindfulness. Because it works.
Mindfulness is a beautiful tool that has proven both accessible and hugely effective in modern psychotherapy.
This post introduces you to several fast and effective simple techniques, through a simple extract from the wonderfully written and simple Harvard Medical School health guide to the practice. (Did I say simple enough times there?).
The simplest technique that was most effective for me back in the day, and is loved by my clients, is ‘Just Noting’… I’d acknowledge and name the arrival of an emotion, without any judgement or upset, and pause and let it move away and dissipate. “Ah, just jealousy… just bitchiness…” – and, breathe, and let it go…
Click on the image below to enlarge for easy reading. Click HERE to open a window to the Harvard guide.
You can consider and apply to find the ones that fit you, the ones that allow you to thought stop and disengage from the chaos of a busy mind, allowing you to breathe and be still, to be in the experience of the moment, and to understand that feelings are not facts, and they don’t need to dictate our behaviours… If the techniques feel good, then you can explore further.
Important: please remember, you don’t learn to ride a bike by reading a book about it, you have to DO it. Apply apply apply. Then apply again and again, until it becomes comfortable and natural to you. It’s a science. It works. It’s worth it.
Good luck. And enjoy!