First Psychology – Mindfulness
Good morning, hope you’re keeping well. Just sending on a First Psychology to be shared with the Chamber if possible please!
“First Psychology – Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about living in the present. By becoming more mindful you will increase your awareness of your thoughts and feelings and will notice that your mind is never still – it is constantly thinking and making up stories.
How mindfulness can help you
Becoming aware of your own thoughts and feelings allows you to accept them. If you are mindful, you will accept your thoughts and feelings for what they are and not give excessive importance to them. For example, you may think thoughts such as “that person doesn’t like me” or “I didn’t make a good impression” or “everything is getting on top of me”. However, a mindful person will acknowledge these thoughts as just thoughts and let them go.
Negative feelings result from negative thoughts, so if you spend a lot of time mulling over negative past experiences or think about negative things that may happen in the future, you may begin to feel angry, sad, guilty, anxious or regretful. Many people believe the past runs their life. However, the past is gone, it is only your thoughts about the past that remain. They are simply memories. This doesn’t mean that you should pretend the past never happened, but rather that you should accept your thoughts about the past as harmless memories travelling through your mind. They don’t need consideration, just acceptance. Understanding our thoughts can give us the freedom to become less preoccupied with, and give less meaning to them.
Mindfulness and happiness
Happiness is simple – no matter what has happened in the distant or recent past, happiness lies in the present. This can be a hard concept for humans to master, but with practise you will realise that thoughts do not reflect reality. Your present mood is affected by thoughts of things out-with the moment. Once you have grasped this concept, you will be a more peaceful person.
How to apply mindfulness
To become more mindful you should try to be more aware of your thoughts and bring them back to the present moment. Concentrate on your surroundings rather than on what is going on in your head. Once you begin to become more mindful, you will probably notice hundreds of fleeting thoughts relating to the past and future. By consciously returning your focus to the present over a long period, the process will become more natural and automatic to you. You will learn to concentrate on the here and now rather than becoming caught up with thoughts that may result in a bad mood.
When you become annoyed, frustrated, or upset you will probably find that your mind has wandered from the present. The next time you feel this way, ask yourself what you have been thinking about, then try to refocus on the present.
It is difficult to try to dismiss thoughts if something significant has happened. However while you are feeling low, it can be helpful to acknowledge that your thoughts are likely to be unhelpful and negative. If you can accept that this period will pass, it will become easier to deal with.
Download First Psychology’s Mindfulness booklet for more about mindfulness and ways to become more mindful.
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