Table of contents:

Realizing Life - Self-development
Realizing Life - Self-development

Video: Realizing Life - Self-development

Video: Realizing Life - Self-development
Video: The Dark Side of Self Improvement | Suzanne Eder | TEDxWilmington 2023, March

Stop for a while. Notice what position you are in. Listen to your own breathing. Can you feel your body? Do you feel pain or heaviness anywhere in your body? Do thoughts quickly replace each other? Or is the mind calm? Are you comfortable? Or are you tense? Is it too hot? Cold? Or just right? Are you hungry? Do you feel thirsty? What are you really feeling in this very second? Irritation? Joy? Sadness? Boredom? Relaxation?

Mindfulness is the ability to completely immerse yourself in the "now", noticing your feelings, thoughts and needs without criticism or evaluation. It is attentiveness to everything that is happening in the body, mind and environment at a given moment in time. Mindfulness can become a habitual way of life and worldview

No need to rush

In the 21st century, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has become one of the most common ways to help people experiencing anxiety and stress, addiction or depression. This type of counseling is often described as a way of training the mental muscles to help us face the future and cope with everyday difficulties. CBT challenges negative thinking and supports personal responsibility, and offers faster solutions than most types of long-term conversational therapy. This is especially true in the case of pressing and severe disorders, such as heavy addiction or obsessive thoughts.

In the modern world, Eastern and Western concepts of health and treatment methods are increasingly mixing and complementing each other. This exchange of knowledge led to the formation of new psychotherapeutic directions at the intersection of sciences and cultures, including cognitive therapy based on mindfulness (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, MBCT)

In this approach, therapists help their clients change their relationship with experience rather than directly targeting problematic patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior. When clients first come to therapy, they often tend to be disgusted or rejected by what they feel or how they behave. They want less anxiety or less depression, they want to drink or eat less. And then the therapist helps to restructure the client's interaction with what he considers to be a problem, developing in him curiosity and constant acceptance of painful experiences.

Mindfulness does not completely eliminate sources of stress because it remains an integral part of life. However, it can be dealt with more efficiently and with less waste. Mindfulness has already been recognized by the UK's National Institute for Health and Quality of Care (NICE) as an effective treatment for the effects of psychological and physiological stress. All over the world, doctors, teachers, educators, politicians, social workers in private and public organizations receive mindfulness training and teach others to meditate. It is meditation that helps the mind to slow down and in a mild form focus on what is happening here and now, and therefore it is the main tool for mastering the state of awareness.

For more than 30 years, scientific research has been carried out abroad, confirming the effectiveness of mindfulness interventions in psychotherapy. Regular meditation, combined with appropriate cognitive therapy techniques, can:

  • reduce the level of anxiety and depression;
  • enhance the immune response to colds, viral infections and some other diseases;
  • relieve chronic pain, including that caused by cancer;
  • create and reinforce positive emotions and a sense of life satisfaction;
  • reduce the impact of stressors that cause high blood pressure and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease;
  • improve concentration, memory and physical endurance.

A psychotherapist who uses mindfulness techniques in his practice may at any given time ask himself the question: "How can I cultivate awareness and acceptance of the current experiences that I myself and my client are experiencing?" This position becomes a reliable foundation for psychotherapeutic work and relationships.

Disable autopilot

At MBCT, considerable attention is paid to recognizing the "automatic" mode of existence that we are all familiar with. It's amazing what a huge part of our life we live without realizing where we are, what is happening around us and what we are doing. Moreover, we are not aware of the very fact that simple things like walking or washing, and complex things like driving or reading, happen automatically. The focus of our attention is usually not the result of a conscious choice or a reflection of what we strive for and what we need in life.

This autopilot saves the brain a lot of mental energy, and sometimes turning it off can have dire consequences. But it turns on not only when we are distracted by some parallel processes and other people, but also when we unconsciously avoid difficult or painful situations and experiences. And in this case, it is especially important to investigate the automatic response mechanism.

The first step along this path is to understand the difference between Action Mode and Genesis Mode. A person who lives by the principle of "Doing" constantly strives to change his life, comparing the current moment with some abstract image of what it could be. It brings a tinge of rejection and dissatisfaction to every moment of existence. In contrast to this, you can turn to the principle of “Being”, in which it becomes possible to accept the current moment, not evaluating it, but simply being in your sensations.

Answer yourself to the question: "Will the quality of my life change if I begin to devote more time to what is happening to me here and now?"

Who Can Be An MBCT Therapist

Since MBCT is mainly used in the clinical environment, that is, when working with patients with diagnosed disorders and mental dysfunctions, special requirements are imposed on psychotherapists in this area:

  • 1) qualifications in the field of psychotherapy;
  • 2) training and experience in conducting group psychotherapy;
  • 3) two-year MBCT courses, including theoretical training, supervision and personal therapy;
  • 4) developed, continuous and continuous own practice of meditation.

In Russia, mindfulness practices are just beginning to gain scientific recognition. Most of our compatriots who now practice mindfulness are meditation instructors and spiritual teachers. Many of them practiced meditation for years before hearing about mindfulness as a psychotherapeutic construct.

Among psychologists and coaches, this trend is not yet very popular, because many still have prejudices about the esoteric and religious context of meditation. In fact, the beauty and effectiveness of these techniques lies precisely in the fact that this is an exclusively secular practice of a certain development of attention, which can become a universal way of self-regulation and improving the quality of life.

Mindfulness Books

  • Kabat-Zinn J. Wherever you go, you are already there. Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. M.: Class, 2001.
  • Williams M., Penman D. Consciousness. How to find harmony in our crazy world. M.: Mann, Ivanov and Ferber, 2016.
  • Paddicombe E. Meditation and Mindfulness: 10 minutes a day to get your thoughts in order. M.: Alpina non-fiction, 2017.

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