I had always heard of the term mindfulness, but I never knew what it really was about. That is, until I began to see the therapist in the city where I currently live.
Mindfulness is a useful technique in a survivor's journey towards healing and recovery. Put simply, mindfulness is a basic awareness of your emotions in the present moment. You acknowledge them, but don't dwell on them. Instead, when I acknowledge a particular memory or emotion, I was taught to invite it in....but only for a moment. Then move along. Stay in the present moment, focusing on each memory or emotion as it comes along.
My therapist taught me that there is no right or wrong way to use this technique. It's all about accepting what comes into your conscious mind at the moment. She also taught me to pay attention to my emotions as each memory passed through my mind.
Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness
There are numerous benefits to using the mindfulness technique during your healing and recovery. My therapist had given me handouts on the topic. I took the handouts home, read through them, and in our next session, I asked her questions regarding how to practice the technique, and what the benefits of it were.
1. Boost the immune system. With consistent use of the mindfulness technique, our immune system will be able to fight off infections better. I noticed that I began to feel better and get sick less often.
2. Increase positive emotions. By using mindfulness on a regular basis, I have noticed that I feel more positive emotions than I do negative emotions. I began to notice that my outlook on things changed - I became happier and developed a more positive outlook on life.
3. Ability to focus. Mindfulness also has helped me better focus on whatever task I am doing in a particular moment. It has helped me tune out distractions and has given me an ability to pay better attention to what I am doing.
4. Helps reduce PTSD symptoms. This is something that my therapist emphasized greatly. She noticed that I was struggling with PTSD symptoms (see my post on PTSD As A Result of Narcissistic Abuse), so she suggested I try begin using mindfulness.
5. Can help you be a better parent. This is something that I was very surprised with learning. When you practice mindfulness, you are reducing your stress levels, any anger you may be feeling, and any negative emotions. This leads to better relationships with your children! I was surprised at how well this has worked for me. My children have even noticed a difference in me.
While there are other benefits to practicing this useful technique, the above 5 benefits have given me the most noticeable improvements in my life.
Using this technique does take conscious effort, though. It's not a "use it once and your life will be instantaneously better" technique. Mindfulness is meant for daily practice. I will admit, I don't remember to use it every day. But I am making a more conscious effort to do so.
It is important to note that the emotions that may cross your mind are fleeting and do not define you. Recognizing this can truly free you from negative thought patterns. And that is something I know I still need to work on! (I will note that you can't erase all negative emotions from your life. Negativity has a certain place in this world. It provides a balance to things. But with mindfulness, you can greatly reduce the negative emotions in your life.)
Have you used mindfulness as a way to help you in your healing and recovery journey? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you for sharing your stories with me.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
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