Mindfulness: A Tool for Recovery and Discovery
This is a guest post by Beth Burgess
Have you ever snapped at someone and you didn’t know why? Have you ever woken up feeling blue, and not been able to put your finger on the cause? Have you ever relapsed into unhelpful behaviors and couldn’t work out what went wrong?
There is always a reason why we find ourselves acting out. There is always a reason behind our low mood. There is always a reason why we fall back into bad patterns. All these are indicators that something is not sitting right with us – and yet most of us are too busy to notice the red flags waving until it is too late.
Mindfulness is the art of noticing, and it can be very useful when applied to acknowledging our innermost feelings. Many of us carry around stress and worry without even knowing it. But it is there, usually seated within our bellies, sending out subtle signals that something is awry.
But because we are ignorant of our own stresses and the toll they are taking upon us, we find ourselves reacting recklessly to things, rather than responding with insight and care. Practicing mindfulness allows us an insight into what our emotional blockages and limitations may be before we respond to our day.
I advise my clients to practice 10-15 minutes of Mindfulness every morning, where they sit and pay attention to the sensations arising in their gut. Is there any tightening, which could denote anger? Or a sinking feeling associated with worry? Or a heavy feeling, which might be a sign of sadness?
Once you know what you are really feeling, then you can be aware of how vulnerable you are to the further stresses and strains you may encounter in the day. You know which emotions may threaten to color your responses and when to keep yourself especially safe from dangerous triggers.
Bringing our attention to our belly not only allows us to notice any negative feelings in the present moment, but it enables us to identify when things sit well with us. Many people don’t pay attention to their gut instinct, the intuitive feelings as to whether things are a good fit.
With practice, we can learn to ask ourselves questions about where we are going in life, and can attune ourselves to our own gut responses. In this way, we can learn what really makes us tick, what resonates to our innermost core, and which path would be the wise one to take for us.
So Mindfulness is not only about cementing recovery from setbacks in life, and making sure you stay mentally healthy, but also about discovering where you want to go next – and how to get to that place of peace, growth, fulfilment and joy.
Beth Burgess is a therapist and coach specializing in addiction and anxiety disorders, as well as helping clients deal with other mental health issues and setbacks in life. She is the author of The Recovery Formula and The Happy Addict. Beth has also published a mini ebook What Is Self Esteem? and runs workshops on self esteem and stress.
Client website: [http://www.smyls.co.uk] Personal website: [http://www.bethburgess.co.uk] Amazon author page: [http://www.amazon.com/Beth-Burgess/e/B007HSG0ES] Twitter: [http://www.twitter.com/BethSmyls] Facebook: [http://www.facebook.com/BethSmyls]