Sometimes we experience the worst we can imagine- the loss of a parent, sibling, lover, or worst of all, the loss of a child. We may feel like a hostage to addiction or live through the visceral memories of trauma. Where can we go to for solace? One place that has proven to be an antidote for well-being is to come home to our bodies and the present moment. For thousands of years, various practitioners have benefited first hand from the effects of a mindful practice.
The practice of mindfulness can be done sitting or lying down and taking a few moments to breathe. It sounds simple but the key is to sit without judgement. It can be challenging to sit and notice the moment without judgement. But with compassion and patience, we can all feel the calm and freedom that comes with just being present.
Neuroscience has caught up with what practitioners of mindfulness have been boasting about for thousands of years. Mindfulness helps lower cortisol levels, increases the connections in the brain, strengthens the immune system, decreases anxiety and helps us stay calm in emotionally charged situations.
Have you ever seen someone who is a regular practitioner of mindfulness? I’ve had the great fortune of meeting a number of mindfulness practitioners and I can sense a calm aura around them and a twinkle in their eye. I know this sounds perhaps too mystical, but who can deny the scientific research that has come from mindfulness practice?
So you may be asking ‘how does mindfulness relate to psychotherapy?’ My psychotherapy focuses specifically on being more present and aware of the sensations in the body. Together with my clients, we become more and more aware of what mechanisms you may be using to keep you from being present (i.e. too much intellectualization, rumination). Moment to moment, we track when and why you are avoiding the present sensations. Perhaps your body is in a state of anxiety and we first need to be recognize this heightened anxiety before we can regulate the anxiety. As a result, we can help you gain the tools needed to be a mind-full being – to find solace in your body and mind regardless of what challenges you experience. Most importantly, my psychotherapy practice is done in a safe, compassionate, and empathic environment so you can learn to feel at home in your body and mind.