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What is Mindfulness? 

mother son mindfulness for calendarMindfulness has emerged as a powerful, evidence-based tool for enhancing psychological health. It has been clinically proven to assist in a wide range of clinical disorders including chronic pain, anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, substance abuse and borderline personality disorder. But more than that, it has great effects for people in general dealing with the day-to-day stressors of life.

Mindfulness isn’t anything new. It actually stems from Eastern philosophies, including Buddhism, Taoism and Yoga. Only recently, western psychology has embraced mindfulness in the management of psychological health.

A leading expert in the field of mindfulness training, Jon Kabat-Zinn, defines mindfulness as: “Paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”

What Mindfulness is NOT 

Sometimes it is helpful to define something by what it is not. Here are some examples of what mindfulness is not. See how many you can relate to.

  • getting lost in your thoughts and feelings
  • listening to your friend while typing away at your computer
  • reading your book while thinking about an argument you had with your partner this morning
  • daydreaming while doing chores at home
  • distracting your self from difficult feelings, thoughts, sensations with food, games, tv/movies, alcohol, drugs, sex, work, exercise.
  • eating without an awareness of eating
  • being preoccupied with future and/or past
  • driving home and not remembering how you got there and if you went through any red lights

Did you answer yes to any of the above? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Benefits of Mindfulness 

Bringing mindfulness to your everyday life has the potential to help you:

  • become aware of what you are avoiding (e.g., certain feelings, thoughts)
  • be fully present, here and now
  • experience difficult thoughts, feelings, and sensations safely
  • increase self-awareness
  • become more connected with yourself and others around you
  • learn the distinction between you and your thoughts
  • direct contact with the world, rather than living through your thoughts
  • more balance, less emotional volatility
  • become less disturbed by and less reactive to unpleasant experiences
  • to learn that everything changes; that thoughts and feelings come and go like passing cars on the highway
  • experience more calm and peacefulness
  • develop self-acceptance and self-compassion
  • improve focus and concentration
  • facilitate better relationships

How do I learn Mindfulness?

You can learn and develop your mindfulness skills, to improve your overall wellbeing, by participating in our Mindfulness for Beginners program, or by making an appointment with a Q-Psych psychologist trained in mindfulness practices.

To find out more, you are welcome to contact Q-Psych to discuss your needs.

This blog was brought to you by Q-Psych clinical psychologist, Shannon Moule.

© Q-Psych 2016