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Mindfulness Techniques Can Counter Stress in Clients

Posted: October 24, 2011

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Observe. You may notice external sensations such as sounds and sights that make up your moment-to-moment experience. The challenge is not to latch onto a particular idea, emotion or sensation, or to get caught up in thinking about the past or the future. Instead you watch what comes and goes in your mind, and discover which mental habits produce a feeling of suffering or well-being.

Stay with it. At times, this process may not seem relaxing at all, but over time it provides a key to greater happiness and self-awareness as you become comfortable with a wider and wider range of your experiences.

Clients can also try less formal approaches to mindfulness by trying to become more aware while doing activities that are enjoyed. Playing the piano, juggling, walking--all can become part of mindfulness practice as long as the client pays attention to what is happening in the moment. Listen to the sounds of the music, feel the weight of the balls as they fall into your hand or really look at what you are walking past.

Practice makes perfect

Mindfulness is something to cultivate and practice, on a regular basis.

Make a commitment. Aim for doing 20 to 45 minutes of mindfulness practice most days of the week. (If that sounds like a lot, remember that a key part of mindfulness means letting go of expectations. Just commit to trying to become more mindful, and do the best you can.)