TOBY MIZZI, COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGIST, STRONG MINDS PSYCHOLOGY
If you’re reading this, hopefully you are considering making mindfulness more of a part of your daily life. If you have read my previous blogs, you will hopefully have a bit more of an idea of what mindfulness is and how we can practice mindfulness both formally and informally. There are many ways to incorporate mindfulness into your day and it is helpful to play around with different approaches to see what works for you. In future blogs, as well as discussing various aspects of mindfulness, I plan to introduce different techniques and strategies you can use to practice mindfulness. Remember, there is no need to complicate what it means to be mindful. Practicing mindfulness is really as simple as bringing your full awareness to whatever it is you are doing in the present moment. In addition to your full awareness, it is also about adopting a sense of openness and non-judgement to your current experiences, even those experiences that might be more ‘difficult’ (e.g., anxiety).
We have previously spoken about bringing mindfulness to any activity you are doing (e.g., eating, listening to music, engaging with other people) as well as formal ways to practice mindfulness (e.g., meditation). In my future blogs, I will be discussing strategies that can be used for either informal mindfulness or more specific formal mindfulness meditation practice.
Many forms of meditation were developed in various religious traditions (e.g., Buddhism) but you do not need to be religious to practice mindfulness or meditate. There are various different forms of meditation (e.g., Transcendental Meditation, Mindfulness Meditation, Guided Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi and many others) but they all involve mindfulness and present moment awareness. It is important to clarify that the focus here is not meditation itself, but the use of meditation (any form of) to practice mindfulness. However, it is important to acknowledge the various approaches, as there are many different ways you can be instructed to practice mindfulness meditation. None are necessarily better than the others, but rather it is a matter of finding what works for you. As a simple example, some approaches might encourage you to control your breathing whilst other just encourage you to notice your breathing as it is, without trying to change it. Different approaches, but with the same overall aim of bringing your full awareness to the current moment. This is why I will be sharing many different approaches and strategies with you, in the hope that you can find something that works best for you!
About the Author:
Toby shares his time between the Strong Minds Psychology team, Swinburne University, and his young family. He is passionate about providing individualised support, and empowering people to enhance their mental health. Toby provides counselling and therapy for children, adolescents, adults and couples – helping with depression, anxiety, self-esteem, relationship difficulties, grief &loss, and family conflict. Mindful Mondays will be a regular blog on our website and Facebook page.
If you would like to discuss how the Strong Minds Psychology team can support your mental health needs, complete the form below or call us on 0417 389 941.