What is mindfulness?
You may have heard of the term “mindfulness,” but do you know how it relates to psychology? Mindfulness is a state where you are aware of what’s happening right now. Your mind and body are paying attention to the present rather than focusing on the past or the future. You are looking at your thoughts and not judging them, and experiencing them in real-time. Mindfulness psychology helps us process our feelings and become aware of how to cope with emotional distress.
Dialectical behavior therapy and mindfulness
DBT and mindfulness have a strong connection. Mindfulness is one of the core principles of Dialectical Behavior Therapy. If you stay with your feelings and let them be, you can process them and move through them rather than fighting your emotions. Mindfulness is not a buzzword, but a way to deal with impulse control and work through deep emotional issues. One of the most critical parts of DBT is sitting with your emotions, and that’s what the mindfulness tenant teaches us. You don’t have to change how you feel, but rather experience it. When you let yourself feel, you won’t stay stuck in your feelings.
Logical mind versus emotional mind
One of the issues we struggle with as human beings are navigating through your logical brain, or wise mind, as opposed to your emotional brain. Mindfulness psychology can help with the differentiation. When you stay with your feelings and emotions, you can discern between anxiety and the thoughts that go along with the anxiety. When you can decode between those two things, you can not only process the emotions but look at the anxiety logically. You can assess whether the intensity of that anxiety is proportionate to the situation at hand. It may not be serving you. Mindfulness psychology can help you experience anxiety and practice non-judgemental thinking.
Don’t judge yourself
When you begin to practice mindfulness, you notice that you are less judgmental towards your thoughts and feelings. Thoughts are simply thoughts, and emotions are feedback from our minds and bodies. They are messages to show us what’s going on with us emotionally. When we stop judging ourselves and experience our feelings, we can better understand them and process them. Sitting with our feelings rather than focusing on the guilt and shame that sometimes comes with emotions is more productive. Guilt and shame make it difficult to move through emotions because, on top of feeling your feelings, you are ashamed of them. On top of feeling anxiety, depression, frustration, or anger, you’re judging yourself. When you can stay in the moment and be non-judgmental, you won’t get stuck in an emotion.
Mindfulness and decision-making
When you stay in the present, and you’re stuck trying to make a decision, mindfulness can help you focus on the facts. You won’t get stuck in the anxious, worried thought of “am I making the right decision?” You can stay in the moment and examine the facts in a non-judgemental way. It’s easier to make decisions when you can see things logically.
Mindfulness and relinquishing control
We feel like we can’t control something as human beings. It can be upsetting, and it may make anxiety worse. Mindfulness helps you relinquish control, stay with your feelings, and be in the moment. You take the pressure off your brain, and all you need to do is feel. Your mind and body will do the rest. Mindfulness is powerful because we often get distracted by all the stimuli in the world. It’s a relaxing time rather than a stressful one.
Therapy and mindfulness
If you’re struggling with staying in the present, seeking out, a mental health provider or therapist can help you. Your counselor can assist you in learning the tools of mindfulness. Whether you’re seeing a therapist online or in your neighborhood, you can benefit from mindfulness psychology in your sessions. You might be practicing DBT, CBT, or one of the other types of therapy that use mindfulness. Regardless of the kind of treatment you’re doing, mindfulness can support you in understanding and feeling your emotions.
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