There is more than a 30-year long empirical evidence and research literature of impressive volume speaking to benefits of mindfulness (meditation) and reflective practice upon our wellbeing. These practices and their concepts are finding increasingly more echo and space in promoting mental and emotional health whether it applies to treating various diagnosable conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD or implementing a simple everyday mental and emotional hygiene.
Mindfulness is both psychological state and mental skill during which there is an intentional and attentional presence in the moment, marked by a non-judgmental attitude and openness to accept our experience just as it is yet without resignation or lack of desire to make changes where these are needed. This cognitive state is characterized with a sense of acceptance, "enough-ness", and calm, while actively releasing any associations with thoughts that take us out of “here and now” such as our worries about future, analyzing past, or comments of the moment.
Guided by an extensive body of literature and knowledge of this subject, as well as my two decades-long passionate practice of mindfulness, I can say with confidence that mindfulness without a formal practice of meditation is just as much an illusion as is motivation without action. Therefore, no amount of understanding of mindfulness concepts or workings of the mind will suffice as an element of an intentional mental training is absolutely essential for these processes and states to develop or be sustained over time. In short, one cannot fully comprehend nor achieve mindfulness without active and consistent meditation practice.
Meditation is a mental training that helps us strengthen our cognitive muscles and become emotionally fit. Meditation practice is defined as a set of behaviors and mental processes designed for self-regulation and self-exploration during which a relaxed state of body is paired with a concentrated or purely attentive mind. Thus, with this practice we are building our capacity for clear, focused, and calm thinking process, while expanding our insight and skills to navigate our emotions, mood, and overall perspective on life. As a result, we have a better self-control, allowing us to notice and deactivate running on an auto-pilot which often lead us to reactive thinking and impulsive behaviors, and we are given a space to make a choice how we want to show up in our lives and interact with the world around us.
There is a myriad of different formal meditation practices such as concentrative (Samatha), open awareness (Vipassana), or loving-kindness (Metta) meditation, and these include a clear set of guidelines, prescribing how to engage in these exercises for our mind. However, there is also endless number of creative and playful informal meditation practices; as a matter of fact, any activity done with mindful intention, attention, and non-judgmental attitude becomes an opportunity for an informal meditation.
Whether you looking to improve your concentration and motivation, enhance your performance in sports or public speaking, seeking a relief from everyday stress, worries about future, or resentments from past, or all of the above – I will create an individualized treatment plan according to your needs and goals. Through our work together, you will learn strategies and develop skills to direct your thoughts in a positive and constructive way as you fill your being with inner peace, contentment with yourself and your life, and emotional harmony.
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