When most people think of meditation, they imagine sitting silently trying to make one’s mind a blank. This is a misunderstanding of what meditation is really about. The goal of meditation is awareness - paying careful attention to ourselves and our environment so that we are able to lead a peaceful and fulfilling life.
Most of the time we are caught up in our thoughts: worrying, judging, planning, regretting. This prevents us from truly noticing what is happening right now and from appreciating the present moment. By taking small steps to pay attention throughout our busy days, we can reduce stress, lighten up our mood, and improve our relationships with ourselves and others.
Breathing is a tool we always have with us. The breath helps us pay attention to our experience and to avoid getting stuck in our thinking. Our thoughts tend to be distorted, often in a negative direction. Whenever you notice yourself starting to have negative thoughts or feelings, try paying attention to your breath. Focus on the sensation of the breath as your lungs gently rise and fall. If the thoughts come back, just notice them and then return to the sensations of your breathing. Notice the effect this has on your negative thinking.
At Lakeview Center for Psychotherapy we often incorporate meditation and mindfulness practices into the therapeutic process. These are powerful tools for attaining balance, wisdom, and self-acceptance.
For more information about mindfulness based therapy, contact us
at 773-525-3322, ext. 42.