Ok, with great respect and great love, I’d like to great each and every one of you out there. I thought I’d take a few minutes and talk about the importance of mindfulness in psychotherapy.
A lot of us struggle with negative mental diets. Our inner narrative and self-talk oftentimes is negative. Learning how to change your mental diet or your self-talk becomes very important in having a happy, peaceful and stress-free life.
The reason why mindfulness is so important in psychotherapy is because it teaches you how to have a “present moment” focus. Most of us spend a lot of time engaged in thinking about the past, which is over and can’t be changed, or thinking about the future, which hasn’t arrived yet and can only be imagination.
Learning how to spend time in the present becomes very important for relieving stress and for solving a lot of problems that life brings our way. The reason why presence is so important is because presence allows us to effectively tackle the problems that you face right here right now.
One of the things about the present moment is that it’s like a coin — it has two sides. One side is the form and content of the present moment, which is the sound of my voice, the furniture in the room, whatever you can see around you — but the most important aspect of the present moment (and the other side of the coin) is the deep stillness and deep silence in which all of this is springing.
Learning how to connect and fill into where you are right here right now puts you in touch with that deep, still, silent place in yourself.
There are usually three ways of approaching the present moment. One is to use the body, or focus on your body as a doorway to being present. Being in your body and not in your head allows you to be more alert and also more present.
The second way to be more mindful and more present is to pay attention to the silences in your world: the silence between breaths, the silence between thoughts, the silence in nature, the silence that a flower springs out of.
The third door or third way to be mindful or present is surrender, surrendering to the present moment — just this here-now “ahhh,” and taking a deep breath.
So, mindfulness or presence becomes a way to become aware of your inner narrative, the self-talk that goes on incessantly inside your head. Oftentimes, this self-talk is negative, but by bringing your attention back and your focus back to the present moment again and again allows you to develop more insight into what you say to yourself and how you talk to yourself.
Most of us spend a lot of time worried about me and my story, me and my problems, and so spend a lot of time in our heads and not in the present moment.
I hope this discussion about mindfulness and the importance of mindfulness will help you sort of pay attention to your inner diet — your inner mental diet — and teach you how to replace negative thinking with a more positive thought diet that supports and nurtures your life.