Talking about how some things can be life-changing has turned in a bit of a cliché already. There are literary hundreds of articles about strategies and new age approaches that can help you get a fresh start. When it comes to mindfulness, however, I believe that it’s one of the most powerful practices and its effectiveness has been proven many times already.
Mindfulness is a pretty simple concept. It focuses on being attention-driven and open to the opportunity that appears in your life here and now. As a mindful individual, you don’t let life pass you by. You’re an active participant who seizes opportunities without judgment or fear.
As a counselling professional in Calgary, I work hard to help patients modify their behaviour in an attempt to lead a much more mindful life. I’m not alone in this practice. Mindfulness-based psychotherapy is becoming more and more prominent in Calgary with many psychologists incorporating this practice in their sessions with patients. Here’s what mindfulness can be used to accomplish and how it can have profound positive effects.
Taking a Look at Your Life without Judgment
Mindfulness is all about taking a step back and attempting to look at your life as a third-party, unbiased observer.
Try to see everything you’ve accomplished, your goals, your failures and dreams without judgment. By doing exercises in mindfulness, you can get a much better idea about who you are and how your actions have been defining your character.
When you learn to do this kind of examination, you may eventually identify your current goals as shallow. You may see yourself as a person plagued by limitations and insecurities that are socially-constructed rather than intrinsic. Identifying these boundaries that are holding you back can propel you towards accomplishing your dreams.
Very often, we base our personal stories on what society wants us to be. This can be changed through mindfulness. Even if you don’t know how to deal with it on your own, there are counselling opportunities that focus on such exercises. Through these sessions, you’ll learn a lot more about your true self and the meaningful things that will give you a sense of fulfillment in life.
Mental and Physical Health Benefits
Mindfulness has been studied for more than 30 years and today, it’s widely recognized as a potential therapeutic approach utilized by psychologists in Calgary, the rest of Canada and the world.
Researchers have found out that people who lead a mindful existence tend to experience a wide array of mental and even physical health benefits.
Having a mindful approach towards life can be a good way to combat anxiety and depression. People who are mindful tend to enjoy higher levels of happiness than others and they even experience an increase in their learning potential.
The practice of mindfulness can offer relief from chronic pain, a body image improvement, cognitive enhancements, immune system strengthening, blood pressure stabilization improved general health and an overall ability to heal faster from medical problems.
You can Identify the Source of Your Problems
One of the best results of mindfulness that I’ve obtained is the ability to identify the most common sources of problem in life. It’s simply impossible to start a journey towards a better existence without knowing what’s holding you back.
Through the practice of mindfulness, you can identify patterns of behaviour and sources of problems that seem to be reoccurring in your life.
If you happen to be judgmental towards certain people and you have a difficulty letting them in, you may eventually find out that you’re experiencing jealousy and a sense of inferiority on a sub-conscious level. This is why you’re limiting opportunities for interaction and you’re reluctant about opening up to such individuals.
This is just one simple example that shows the powerful enlightening effect that mindfulness could have. It’s all about identifying the right exercises for the purpose. Some people get excellent results when doing mindfulness meditation or breathing exercises. Others need a bit of assistance to get started. If you belong to the second category, it will be beneficial to book an appointment with a therapist in Calgary that specializes in the field of mindful practices. Together, you’ll identify the approach that will give you the most pronounced outcome.
No Longer Worrying about Irrelevant Things
Through mindfulness, you can learn a lot about the things that matter and the little irrelevant occurrences that should simply be ignored.
Most of us are “slaves” to our everyday existence. We’re burdened by chores, toxic relationships and tiny problems that don’t really have an impact on our existence in the long run. Such small hindrances, however, will often pile on top of each other and create a mountain that hides the horizon of our long-term goals.
In the grand scheme of things, the problems that are plaguing your life right now are irrelevant. It’s simply a matter of letting go and no longer sweating over the small stuff.
It takes practice and effort to accomplish this transformation but the efforts will pay off. You gain perspective through mindfulness. You learn to let go of everything that’s simply not worth wasting emotions on. In turn, you can focus your energy and creativity on positive changes in life.
The Key to Happiness?
Many practitioners say that mindfulness is the key to happiness. I have to agree with their perspective.
Mindfulness teaches you to appreciate everything good. By paying attention, you see beauty and positive things in your surroundings. You can also see growth and development opportunities that have remained hidden underneath the pile of irrelevant hindrances before.
The insight you’ll receive through a mindful practice will simplify your life and lead to inner peace. The calmness and the positive attitude will benefit your body and your mind. In the end, you’ll feel a lot happier and you’ll learn how to face challenges without exaggerating their complexity and without experiencing a deadlock every single time.
When not facing hindrances, you’ll be left with moments of pure joy. It’s up to you to identify these little things and take joy in being at peace with the world around you.
About the Author
Dr. Paulk is a licensed psychologist and has more than 20 years of experience offering therapy in many different settings. Over the years, she has come to relish working with individuals who are striving to overcome issues associated with recent or past trauma – symptoms such as stress, avoidance and overwhelming feelings of anxiety, depression or worry. Dr. Paulk recently became certified as an advanced trauma specialist by The Trauma Center at the Justice Research Institute outside Boston, Massachusetts. The nine-month program was conducted by recognized experts in the field, including Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.