Studies have shown that mindful awareness can improve patterns of thinking, reduce negative mindsets, and improve the capacity to regulate emotion, thus combating emotional dysfunction (Siegel, 2007).
“It creates a spaciousness of the mind to notice that an impulse has arisen and to disconnect from the automatic behavior that usually follows when someone is an impulsive person. So mindfulness creates a space between impulse and action that allows us to be more flexible in our responses.” (Siegel, 2007)
We are more fully aware of what we are experiencing when the senses are filtered through the mind streams of sensation, observation, conceptualisation and knowing. Mindful awareness requires a balance of these mind streams (Siegel, 2007). By realising that mental activity is not the same as ‘self’, nor is it permanent, we can awaken our minds to know that preconceived ideas and emotional reactions are embedded in thinking and reflexes which create internal distress. “When the mind grasps onto preconceived ideas it creates a tension within the mind between what is and ‘what should be’. This tension creates stress and leads to suffering” (Siegel, 2007).
Teaching clients about mindfulness brings them into the present and away from negative thinking patterns and a focus on past events. It enhances their ability to appreciate moments of joy and peace and the more of these that a client experiences, the more contentment they will experience in their lives.
Listen to a great discussion about exploring the practice of mindfulness by clicking on the link below: