The benefits of mindfulness practice and meditation are beginning to be understood and appreciated. (at times I believe partners should learn this and be a little mindful of this way of thinking)
Mindfulness practice improves immune system functioning, lowers blood pressure, reduces pain levels and muscular tension.
It is known to improve mental clarity, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
It is sometimes thought that the aim of mindfulness is to be calm and relaxed in every moment.
While one of the benefits of mindfulness is the cultivation of calmness and peacefulness, the purpose is more about developing awareness and acceptance.
Learning to pay attention to our experience, remembering the patterns or habits that we see, and to observe without judgement.
To develop an attitude of acceptance toward oneself and one’s experience.
Mindfulness practice invites us to notice and accept our thoughts as events occurring in the mind rather than as a ‘truth’ that defines us; that our thoughts are just thoughts.
We often have the belief that we need to push or force ourselves in some way in order for things to be different, for there to be change in our lives, but this is not necessarily the case.
Change can and does come through awareness and acceptance.
We can learn to be with the fullness of our experience – our joy, our excitement, our aliveness, as well as our fear, our sadness, and our heartache.
This does not mean that we will be perennially sad or fearful.
Rather that we can learn to see and experience our sadness or our fear and not feel overwhelmed by the feelings.
Rather than trying to move away from our selves by pushing, forcing or avoiding, we can begin to practice ‘being with’ ourselves.
It takes considerable energy trying to be someone or somewhere we are not.
Jon Kabat-Zinn who has been instrumental in introducing the benefits of mindfulness to the practice of psychology says, ‘Wherever you go, there you are!’
When we have been working hard at not being where and who we are, it can feel unusual to just ‘let our selves be’.
Being rather than doing invites a quieter mind and more relaxed body.
We have the opportunity from this quieter, more relaxed state to experience our selves and our world differently;
- to notice that which we have not noticed before and to become curious and interested, rather than critical and judgemental.
We are then able to see and consider new choices and to move toward something new.
Something my husband should learn….