What to Know About Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

4.3 min read|851 words|Categories: Education Center, Treatment & Therapy|
woman sitting on rick on edge of cliff

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. On the other hand, positive thoughts can help you over time take back the life you’re looking to live, restoring self-confidence along the way.

Mindfulness therapy’s goal is to help you control those thoughts that so heavily influence moods. Techniques used in mindfulness therapy build on the foundation that cognitive therapy lays, to help you reassess patterns of thought and thereby avoid negative or depressive moods and habits.

Understanding mindfulness therapy?

Mindfulness therapy builds on itself, as patients become more and more accustomed to its methods. 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 techniques of mindfulness therapy include:

  • Reflections on your states of mind throughout the week, and how those thoughts, directly and indirectly, contribute to your actions
  • Learning how controlled inhales and exhales affect your state of mind
  • Taught breathing techniques to help control heart rate
  • Various types of meditation
  • Integrating meditation with other cognitive-behavioral techniques

Ultimately, you can expect a variety of treatment modalities that focus overall on increased control over your thoughts in order to promote a better mood.

What skills can I expect to learn from mindfulness therapy?

Like all other therapy modalities, the skills learned through mindfulness therapy are long-lasting. These include:

  • A commitment to a decision that stops indecision from affecting productivity
  • Focus on the moment, rather than allowing potential future situations and decisions to affect current choices
  • Assessing a situation without overtly judging it
  • Learning to assess situations rationally
  • Paying attention to both internal and external influences on your health and mind

These simple, concrete skills can benefit daily life in many ways. Maybe you’re experiencing judgmental or destructive thoughts during life’s simple tasks; maybe you’re having difficulty keeping negative thoughts from 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 can help.

How can I introduce mindfulness therapy techniques?

Here’s another benefit to mindfulness therapy: you can learn to integrate its strategies and techniques into other therapy methods. At its core, mindfulness simply means learning how to be more aware of your thoughts and your mental state, which works effortlessly into other modalities like cognitive behavior therapy.

1. Basic mindfulness meditation

Mindful meditation entails being mentally present at 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 without passing judgment. Simply notice 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 for a number of seconds and exhale for the same amount of time during 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 by lessening the tug of anxiety and help organize thoughts in general.

3. Deliberate physical movement

Often performed in tandem with meditation or even controlled breathing, deliberate physical movements like walking, jogging or yoga help you concentrate and fully realize all aspects of the present moment. It doesn’t matter what form of movement you choose so long as it’s relaxed enough for you to focus more on the moment, and less 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 mindfulness therapy options near you 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 or call our offices anytime at 833-525-3077.

woman wearing headphones on laptop call with counselorAnswering the 5 Biggest Objections to Online Counseling
family walking on sidewalkHow to Handle Co-Occurring Disorders