The term mindfulness, from a therapeutic and earthly perspective, describes a state where the conscious awareness of the present moment is very high. The contrary of being and living in a mindful state would be described as living automatically or being in an autopilot mode.
Practicing mindfulness, therefore, indicates the development of the ability to willingly enter that completely focused state, increasing the self's awareness of the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are going inside it at a particular moment.
Mindfulness therapy then is a therapeutic practice, concerned with increasing the practitioner's ability to reach that mindful state. Its main reasoning lies within the concept saying that when we are more aware and conscious of everything that is going within us, we will also be a lot more conscious in the viewing of everything that is going on around us, and with that, we will be more purposeful in all of our actions, words, thoughts, and responses to that external stimuli.
Therefore, mindfulness therapy is a technique, that combines a multitude of cognitive-behavioral practices and strategies which work to help the individuals, practicing the therapy to understand in the first place, very well, everything that is going on inside of their spirit, in order to relieve themselves from confusion, and stress, and then, therefore, be able to act accordingly. It is the aiming to live and see everything with a high degree of clarity.
Is mindfulness therapy effective?
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy includes a multitude of historical practices, such as yoga, meditation, and the development of mindfulness as well as other inward-focused activities and many health professionals are now incorporating mindfulness-promoting activities in two different therapy sessions.
Studies have shown that these activities are successful in reducing symptoms of depression, decreasing amounts of stress, and improving overall emotional control in general, regardless of the specific issue that it is addressed. Mindfulness is known to have a good ability to promote good health, and many studies, actually have found a link between the practice of mindfulness, and a decrease in depression, stress, anxiety, and suicide. That being said, mindfulness therapy is a strong technique.
Many pieces of research have been done around the two main types of mindfulness therapy, confirming both of the technique's vast benefits. The first one is MVSR for short, or, mindfulness-based stress reduction. This therapy method was created by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The second one is MBCT, or, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy created by both Zindel Segal and Mark Williams who partially based their creation on the mindfulness-based stress reduction program, developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Many more variants of the techniques exist and are in practice. Collectively, all therapies which include the mindfulness concept within their reasoning, have the umbrella term of mindfulness intervention therapy.
When is mindfulness therapy used?
This type of therapy was originally developed to help those with recurrent feelings of depression and unhappiness. It has also been used to prevent relapse in people who suffer from substance abuse issues and has also been proven to be quite effective in patients with depressive tendencies, anxiety as well as overall stress.
Any adult human has at least suffered from one of the problems previously mentioned, with that being said, anyone can benefit vastly from the practice of mindfulness therapy in its different forms.
When it comes to relapse issues, mindfulness therapy has also been proven pretty effective in keeping newly sober people consistent for the long run. It is helpful for treating the general anxiety that newly sober people usually suffer from, and their fear of falling back into the addiction.
It helps the patients be completely aware and understanding of those fears within them, and then, once they really comprehend the roots of their fears, it is much easier to remain in control of their choices, helping them to remain sober in the long run. How is it done?
Mindfulness therapy can either be done individually or within a collective group. However, it does show its best results when it is done in a group session. In group therapy sessions, usually, a small group of people will gather around a professor who will proceed to teach meditation techniques as well as the basic principles of cognition, such as the actual relationship between the way you feel and your thoughts to the collective group.
How to find the right therapist
An MBCT or MVSR therapist is a mental health professional who happens to have additional training in mindfulness-based treatments and is skilled in teaching these techniques to others. Always check the credentials of your professional of choice and make sure that they have previous experience in treating your specific target issue or problem through mindfulness therapy techniques, as well as a good amount of experience in practicing and general knowledge in the mindfulness therapy field.
Mindfulness practices are not a new thing, they were historically known as one-size-fits-all remedies and practices and now people are beginning to realize their vast benefits so they are becoming more and more popular in the modern therapy world.
We are now studying more and learning more about the benefits of mastering one's mindfulness in general. Regardless of the exact therapeutic approach dad takes, whether it is cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, or psychodynamic, all mindfulness practices are very flexible and can be tailored to the specific needs of each person.
Practice mindfulness yourself
You don't need to be in a professional setting to start practicing mindfulness. Find a quiet spot, look within yourself, and practice mindfulness. Try to become more aware of what you are doing, how you are feeling, without being reactive or overwhelmed by your surroundings.
Mindfulness is a natural human quality that we all have within us, it is the art of creating a sanctuary, a private space for yourself, and more importantly do not try to quiet your mind or shut it up, that is not the point. Your mind will naturally wander and it is your job to focus on those emotions and thoughts. That undivided focus on one's self is the best way to successful mindfulness practice.