We have also included a section on Mindfulness, as it is a practice in some ways related to EMDR as it can help to treat conditions such as depression and anxiety and also help people to come to terms with and let go of their past. It is a practice that goes back thousands of years and has been most extensively practiced and cultivated in the meditative aspect of the Buddhist tradition.
Mindfulness can be looked at in many different ways but essentially it boils down to being present with and paying attention to things as they are in the current moment. More specifically mindfuless meditation usually involves simply paying moment-to-moment attention to one or more of the five senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching.
From this seemingly inconsequential practice people can develop amazing states of calm, insight, acceptance and peace. Self awareness is also cultivated by mindfulness practice. By consciously allowing in all inner and outer phenomena, good or bad, and simply paying attention to them, the aversion and avoidant patterns that many people have to unpleasant inner thoughts and feelings is reduced, and this in itself appears to reduce their hold over us.
See the embedded video below for a superb introduction to Mindfulness by expert Mark Williams. He discusses the history and practice of mindfulness and how applying it to daily life can bring about many positive benefits. It is a brilliant introduction to the topic. See here for another good feature on mindfulness featuring American expert John Kabat Zinn.
Benefits and Positives of Mindfulness include:
- It is a completely free and portable practice which anyone can easily start practicing. As little as 10 minutes per day can quickly start to make a difference in people’s lives
- It is a completely holistic practice with thousands of years of documented history and benefits and as such is an excellent alternative to people who do not want to use conventional treatments such as medication, or have found them ineffective.
- Mindfuless meditation is very widely reports to improve sleep quality and general relaxation.
- It can help with a vast array of physical and mental conditions such as Anxiety, Stress, Depression, Chronic Pain, Addiction, unpleasant life experiences, Bereavement and Grief, among others.
- It is a fantastic tool for Self Awareness and as such can help people to know themselves and others more effectively for better interpersonal relationships.
- When practiced regularly, Mindfulness can greatly improve the ability for people to remain calm and focused, even under pressure. These qualities of Equanimity and Focus are crucial predictors for success in all areas of life – see Daniel Goleman’s excellent video on mindfulness and focus.
As a disclaimer we should emphasize that Mindfulness meditation requires continual practice both to improve at and to continue to enjoy the benefits it brings. Also whilst it can produce very quick results in some areas such as calmness, in other areas such as dealing with unpleasant life experience it is a very slow gradual process and requires continual practice to fully allow oneself to let go of trauma and grievances from the past.
This is a very brief introduction to the topic of Mindfulness – we will produce more content on mindfulness as it relates to specific topics and link to them below as out site grows. For more information on the topic see our Mindfulness Resources for links to some books and video on the topic.