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Mindfulness: don’t go it alone!

Interested in Mindfulness? Don’t Go It Alone!

There is no time like the present! And if you’re going to do it, let’s give it the best chance of success…
Practicing mindfulness has many benefits:
* greater ability to cope with daily stress
* lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms
* greater ability to learn and focus
* greater energy and enthusiasm for life
* increased professional resiliency
* enhanced interpersonal communication and relationships
BUT… don’t do it on your own.
In my opinion and from my experience, I learned that people are quite harsh on themselves – which may even be the reason to start mindfulness! The problem is that when you are meditating on your own, nobody will stop and alert you to the fact that you are being harsh on yourself.
Meditation is about focusing on one thing, like the breath. Every time you got distracted you should bring your attention GENTLY back to the breath. BUT if you do this on your own you might get harsh on yourself again – like you always are. It’s highly likely that you’ll say one (or more) of the following things to yourself: “Oh, why can’t I do this?”, “Why can’t I focus?”, “I am so easily distracted!”, “I am such a loser!”.
That’s not helpful, is it? So please, if you are considering mindfulness go to a therapist who guides you to a milder version of yourself!

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How mindfulness helps with intrusive thoughts

Ian (27) suffered from intrusive thoughts, like: “thinking gay thoughts can make me gay”.  Whenever he noticed himself looking at a man in the street he had an intrusive doubt: Do I  find him attractive?

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This made him feel anxious and annoyed. He tried to control his thoughts by trying not to have thoughts, having heterosexual thoughts and look at girls. He also checked his arousal level.

Mindfulness helped him to detach from intrusions: instead of ruminating on them or by using all kind of strategies, he was encouraged to passively let go of intrusions. Allowing them to occupy their own space without engaging in them. Reduction in his distress makes clear that responses to intrusions rather than intrusions themselves are the problem.