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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One of the buzz words lately is mindfulness. Also, it is being used for the treatment of mood disorders. What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the act of being aware of our thoughts, emotions and body in the moment without judgement. For me, it is just letting myself “be” who I am at that moment without self-judgement which takes me on a different pathway. Self-judgement, thinking about the past or the future often gets in the way of being mindful.


The more aware you are the better you are able to handle things that come up in life or just day to day events. But, it easy to become distracted. Mindfulness can take the form of nothing more than taking three successive breaths while remembering they are a conscious experience of body activity within mind. This approach is particularly helpful when it is difficult to establish a regular meditation practice.

Most often we are usually in a state of mindlessness...okay stop laughing. Or "zoned out"

Examples are:

  • While driving, you don't remember the experience or which roads you took.
  • While having a conversation, you suddenly realize you don't know what the other person is talking about.
  • While having a conversation, you're already thinking about what you are going to say.
  • While reading, you suddenly realize that you have no idea of what you just read.
  • After putting down something, you can't remember where you just put it.
  • While taking a shower, you're thinking about something else and then don't know if you washed your hair or some other body part.

Mindfulness is an English translation from Eastern practices. I believe in its usefulness on many levels. Wikipedia states, "Mindfulness is awareness of one's thoughts, actions or motivations. Mindfulness (Pali: Sati; Sanskrit: smṛti स्मृति) plays a central role in the teaching of the Buddha where it is affirmed that 'correct' or 'right' mindfulness (Pali:samm?-sati; Sanskrit samyak-sm?ti) is an essential factor in the path to enlightenment and liberation. It is the seventh element of the Noble Eightfold Path, the sadhana of which is held in the tradition to engender 'insight' and 'wisdom' (Sanskrit: prajñ?)."

I also think of this in terms of Christian ideas, which I won't get into here. To me, Examples are practicing Gods presence, silent prayer, Quakers, being still before God. However, mindfulness differs in that you are not trying to hear God, but hear yourself. But, in order to really hear God, you have to hear yourself and be quiet. To me, mindfulness, is the step just before you hear or sense God's presence. Now, remember this is my opinion. I'm not looking for a debate.

One of the essential keys to mindfulness is breathing and meditation. Practice it with this video. (Remember this is only a part of mindfulness. It is much more complex.)

So how was that for you and what is your experience with mindfulness or meditations?

7 comments:

Mike Golch said...

Good posting.

Cynthia Lott Vogel said...

I am currently working on a book on the topic of singlemindedness and purity of heart in Scripture.
I am going to write a blogpost which will really be my response to your post. I started to do it here, but it got to be too long. :)
Please visit: www.cynthialottvogel.blogspot.com or simply click on the white dove!
You are on to something important here.
Blessings

Dr. Deb said...

Mindfulness is a new term for an old belief/skill.

Sid said...

I actually enjoy some mindfulness techniques, but the minute I'm asked to picture something in my head (like they do in that youtube video), my mind goes completely blank. I don't do good with visualization at all, it just increases my anxiety exponentially.

I can do the relaxation techniques where you stay in the present moment and notice different parts of your body & how they feel. Stuff like like how heavy your relaxed limbs feel or how your back feels touching the chair.

The problem is that I have never found mindfulness to help when I'm in the middle of a crisis. My mind keeps searching for a solution, even if there doesn't seem to be one. I know that means I haven't mastered mindfulness yet, but at least I can use it to help me relax in between crises.

Tamara (TC) said...

Clueless,

This was a wonderful video. I love mindfulness when I remember to do it. It is very helpful with chronic pain.

Hope you are doing well.

Hugs,
Tamara

Clueless said...

Mike,

Thank you.

Cynthia,

Thank you Cynthia. I will go look at your blog.

Sid,

I also prefer the mindfulness exercises when you are aware of your body, but couldn't find a video. I takes a lot of practice and even more for you to use it in crisis...I can't.

cc

Clueless said...

Tamara,

It is good to hear from you and am glad that you found the video helpful and that it is helpful for pain management.

Take care,
cc

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