Mindfulness and CBT
The practice of mindfulness has been sweeping the world at large for the past two decades, showing individuals that an attitude of presence and acceptance can be a proponent of peace in everyday life. Researchers from the Journal of Applied Psychology describe mindfulness as a state of consciousness in which individuals attend to ongoing events and experiences in a receptive and non-judgmental way. While mindfulness is a way of life, many people set aside time to practice mindfulness techniques every day.
These techniques can be in the form of mindful eating practices, or in the form of focusing on the breath or mantra for an allotted amount of time.
Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn, professor, and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine shares some wonderful tips for engaging in a truly mindful state:
- Non-judging– Release the need to assess or judge your situation- practicing acceptance helps to speed up the realization of the truth that all is currently going as it should.
- Patience– Have patience with yourself as the mind can be busier on some days- there is no perfecting a mindful experience as it will be different every time.
- Beginner’s mind– Start each mindful period by releasing expectation- when the expectation is released there is more room created for the calm to increase.
- Trust- Focus on cultivating trust for yourself in moments of mindfulness, this will help you to enhance your trust in life.
- Non-striving– Make your time of mindfulness about being present- being present does not involve striving for anything.
- Letting go– Release all efforts…. purely existing is the goal.
- Gratitude and generosity– Be grateful for taking this time of mindfulness for yourself.
The chances are, if you have practiced techniques of mindfulness and acceptance, you have reaped the benefits. When we keep our focus on presence and acceptance of our current situation, we end the battle of fighting AGAINST our issues.
Here’s a little secret… when you stop fighting and resisting your current situation, it seizes to fight against you.
Thoughts are not fact.
Through mindfulness, we learn that the feelings that we associate with our thoughts are the determinant of either comfort or discomfort. When we rebel and fight our current situations as opposed to facing our issues head-on and with acceptance, our behaviors will reflect that in distressed and unhappy behaviors. When we learn to change the cognitive (thought) narrative replacing fear with acceptance, the world becomes a place where everything is more manageable.
Mindfulness Example :“I am a person who suffers from Generalized Anxiety disorder and certain situations cause me to feel distraught with fear. I have learned that if I accept and have compassion for my situation, I will be in a clearer space to improve my issues.
Empirically Supported Benefits Of Mindfulness
- Reduced rumination
- Stress reduction
- Boost to working memory
- Less emotional reactivity
- More cognitive flexibility
- Relationship satisfaction
Did you know that mindfulness techniques are often paired with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
There are extensive amounts of research as well as support from renowned psychological associations and institutes to support the unity of mindfulness and CBT. Utilizing Mindfulness with CBT teaches us to bring our awareness back to acceptance, being mindful of the present moment. CBT is based on the awareness and rewiring of the thought, feeling, and behavior model. CBT requires those engaged to be aware of how their perceptions and feelings affect their behaviors and lives. Clearly, there is a close connection between mindfulness and CBT, it is no wonder why they go hand in hand.
Rumination is the opposite of mindfulness.
At GroundWork Counseling in Maitland, we proudly utilize mindfulness techniques paired with the highly regarded evidence-based therapy technique of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. We believe that the first step to overcoming any obstacle is to accept where you currently are, giving yourself grace in the process. We conveniently specialize in a variety of demographics and feel honored to be of service to the greater Orlando area.