How can mindfulness therapy help me reassess my negative thinking?
Mindfulness therapy is predicated on one truth: thoughts precede moods. Negative thoughts can quickly contribute to compromised quality of life, reduced productivity and a depressed sense of self. In tandem, positive thoughts can help you over time take back the life you’re looking to live, restoring self-confidence along the way.
Mindfulness therapy, then, aims to help you control the same thoughts that so heavily influence moods. Specifically, mindfulness therapy deploys strategies like meditation, which draws conscious attention to clients’ thoughts and feelings. In fact, mindfulness builds on the foundation that cognitive therapy lays, helping patients avoid depression, its triggers and the moods and actions that follow, in helping you reassess train of thought.
What can I expect from a mindfulness therapy session?
Mindfulness therapy builds on itself, as patients become more and more accustomed to its taught modes of thinking. Weekly therapy can help you refocus your own mindfulness, through practices that include concentrated meditation, breathing techniques and the creation of a non-judgmental frame of mind.
Other pillars of mindfulness therapy include:
- Reflections on your states of mind throughout the week, and how those thoughts directly and indirectly contributed to your actions.
- A deliberate focus on how your breathing can affect your state of mind
- Taught breathing techniques that help you control heart rate
- Various types of meditation
- Various integrations of meditation with other cognitive behavioral techniques
Ultimately, you can expect a variety of treatment modalities that help you focus on controlling your thoughts, with a focus on breathing and meditation that help deliver you increased control on your mood and on your actions.
What skills can I expect to learn from mindfulness therapy?
Just like no one experiences end-stage benefits from therapy on the first day, it takes time to experience major benefits from mindfulness therapy. However, over time you can expect to yield concrete, lasting benefits from sustained mindfulness therapy, including all of the following skills:
- Learning to commit to decisions, rather than allowing indecision to affect productivity
- Learning to focus on the moment, rather than allowing potential future situations and decisions to affect current decisions
- Learning to assess a situation without overtly judging all individuals involved, including yourself
- Learning to assess situations rationally
- Learning to pay attention to both internal and external influences on your health and mind
These simple, concrete skills can benefit daily life in so many ways. Maybe you’re experiencing judgmental or destructive thoughts during life’s simple tasks. Maybe you’re having difficulty keeping negative thoughts from overtly corrupting your mood. Maybe daily routines like morning preparation or meal-making have become massive mental exercises. If you’re finding that there’s no barrier between your negative thoughts and the negative moods that develop as a result, mindfulness therapy is available to help.
How can I introduce mindfulness into different types of therapy?
Here’s another benefit to mindfulness therapy: you can learn to integrate its strategies and techniques into other therapy methods you’re practicing. At its core, mindfulness simply means learning how to be more aware of your thoughts and your mental state, and how those thoughts contribute to the moods you experience and the actions you take as a result.
Here are 3 mindfulness techniques you’ll learn in mindfulness therapy that can easily be carried over into other therapy modalities.
1 – Basic mindfulness meditation
Mindful meditation entails being mentally present in the moment. Sometimes, it means taking the time away from your busy day to simply sit and comprehend your own thoughts. Sometimes, it means turning off technology and other external distractions, while paying particular notice to feelings, passing thoughts or physical influences during this time.
Here’s one important note: during a period of mindfulness meditation, your goal is to take inventory of those thoughts, moods or feelings. Your goal is not to dwell on any single influence. Rather, you’re taking notes on what you’re feeling and how you’re taking those feelings in, before letting them go and continuing to focus on the present moment. Only after your period of mindfulness meditation concludes do you revisit what you identified and experienced previously.
2 – Controlled breathing
You’ll be amazed at how much you can control your thoughts, moods and actions simply by controlling your breathing. Take the time to consciously inhale and exhale during the extent of your controlled breathing exercises, rather than leaving breathing on autopilot.
Controlled breathing can also be a big help in maximizing the benefit of mindfulness meditation. Breathing exercises that include controlled, regulated inhaling and exhaling can yield big dividends for your mindfulness therapy, especially with regard to monitoring the thoughts that directly contribute to moods and actions. You’ll oftentimes find that controlled breathing helps you enhance mental clarity, relax the mind and help organize thoughts in general.
3 – Deliberate physical movement
Often performed in tandem with meditation or even controlled breathing, deliberate physical movement like walking, jogging or yoga help you concentrate and fully realize all aspects of the present moment. No matter the physical movement you elect to integrate into your mindfulness therapy, make sure it’s relaxed enough that you’re more focused on taking in all aspects of your surroundings, and less focused on overall stamina. Remember, you’re not looking to run a marathon or set weightlifting records here; the goal of deliberate physical movement is only to maximize mindfulness, to notice all of the aspects of each new moment.
Get the help you need through mindfulness therapy today
Mindfulness therapy helps you maximize your understanding of your own mind, and how individual thoughts and feelings contribute to actions. If you’re interested in leveraging mindfulness therapy to improve your health and happiness, understand that licensed therapists from Pyramid Online Counseling are standing by, ready to help. Schedule your appointment with a licensed online counselor today, after browsing therapist profiles to find the right individual to help you manage and overcome whatever behavioral health challenge you’re facing.
Self-improvement starts when we become increasingly mindful of our thoughts, positive or negative, and how those thoughts contribute to our actions. Mindfulness therapy helps you assess those thoughts in a non-judgmental way. Ultimately, mindfulness therapy goes a long way toward helping you transform positive thoughts into positive actions, while at the same time stopping negative thoughts in their tracks before they have the chance to manifest into actions you’ll regret.