- Are you easily distracted?
- Do you often feel rushed?
- Do you worry about what might happen based on past experience?
- Do you forget a person’s name as soon as you’ve heard it the first time?
- Do you forget details you’ve discussed and agreed to?
- Do your thoughts often keep you from falling and staying asleep?
- Does your ‘to-do list’ keep growing, without helping get things done?
Mindfulness is defined and practiced in many ways. I’ve come to understand and present it to clients as a lifelong practice that can be helpful, anywhere and at any time. Being mindful is giving your full, undivided attention to what is happening, in and around you, in the present moment.
One of the most challenging elements of mindfulness is slowing down enough to give your full, undivided attention to what is happening in the present moment. It is the opposite of multi-tasking. This is why mindfulness is seemingly difficult, even elusive. Focusing on the elements of breathing—the inhale, the exhale, the pause between each—is a foundational mindfulness practice that can directly lead to stress reduction.
Often times, the prospect of this work elicits an automatic stress response. Worry thoughts represent the understandable fears and hesitations that often keep us from taking the courageous risk of engaging in therapy.
As I actively listen during sessions with you, I will often ask you to clarify something in your narrative, with the intention of helping you slow down, to notice something that might help you more easily access and safely experience emotions and thoughts related to the challenges that bring you to work with me. This is mindfulness practice in action—we model it together in session, and you practice it as you walk through the world, between sessions with me.