Distraction is making it difficult to live in the present moment. There’s always something else tugging at your attention. However, did you know that this inability to focus could lead to problems with mental health? What is mindfulness meditation, and how can it benefit you today?
Beyond Buddhist Teachings
Mindfulness meditation is a staple of Buddhist teachings. It refers to the practice of introspection. By being unafraid to look inside, believers hope to attain enlightenment. However, you don’t have to be a practitioner of Buddhism to benefit from the discipline.
Today, therapists use mindfulness meditation in Houston PTSD therapy, psychotherapy, and for addiction problems. It can also help people who are struggling with depression or anxiety. The practice especially helps when you tend to dwell on negative thoughts. Of course, anyone dealing with stress will also do well to practice meditation.
How Mindfulness Meditation Works
You relax. Close your eyes and focus on breathing. There’s no particular breathing pattern. Simply focus on your breathing.
Within seconds, your mind starts to wander. That’s completely normal. Simply refocus on breathing. Notice what it feels like to breathe in and out.
After a short while, it becomes easier to focus on what you’re doing. Now, you’re ready to participate in guided mindfulness meditation. When you work with therapists, they typically direct your attention to specific situations or traits.
For example, you might receive guidance to look at the facets of a stressful situation. You don’t have to solve the problem. Nevertheless, you look at each angle of the occurrence. You observe your role in it.
This practice is instrumental for people struggling with mental health disorders that involve self-blame. Frequently, they realize that they blame themselves for things beyond their control. This recognition then results in healthy refocusing of their attention. It also assists with minimizing stressors and triggers.
Incorporating the Practice into Psychotherapy
The practice of mindfulness meditation sounds deceptively simple. However, some therapists have found that it makes for a compelling pairing with yoga. The combination of breathing exercises and stretches helps the mind to emphasize its focus on the present. For people who have a difficult time returning their attention to the breathing alone, this setup may work better.
There are plenty of yoga poses from beginner all the way to expert. Therefore, you know that you can find something that’ll challenge you. At the same time, it won’t be so difficult as to divert attention from the meditation.
Some therapists also incorporate this meditation form into cognitive behavioral therapy. It serves people with depression. As you undergo therapy that helps you identify dysfunctional patterns in thoughts and feelings, you deepen your focus. Introspection is non-judgmental, which allows you to think through patterns you want to change.
As you do so, you can test-drive thoughts about change. You notice how they make you feel. In the process, you can dismiss those changes that don’t feel right. Because you do so in a state of relaxation, you don’t trigger overwhelming emotions.
Of course, there are also other therapies that benefit from meditation. Examples include:
- Individual therapy, which helps you to focus on introspection to identify your problems
- Dialectical behavior therapy that encourages you to gain control over strong emotions in adverse circumstances
- Anger management, which helps you to deal with an intense feeling in assertive, non-violent ways
- Trauma therapy as a means for helping you to overcome strong trigger situations from the past
- Adjustment disorder therapy, which enables you to develop coping skills
Try Mindfulness Training with Guidance
You might not be able to envision yourself relaxing and focusing on your breathing. It seems odd to you. The few times that you’ve tried it at home, it didn’t seem to accomplish much. Get help.
This practice can be of tremendous benefit to you. And when you’re struggling with a mental health challenge, it may hold the key to getting better. Reach out to the mental health team at PACE Mental Health Houston today. Call (866) 971-8423 now to set up an appointment and learn more.