- Stuart Nevill
The therapeutic value of mindfulness (Part 1)...
Updated: May 20, 2020
Mindfulness is therapeutic because it interrupts the momentum of our psychological and emotional habits. This creates an opportunity for change.
By attending to our experience in the present moment, we apply a break to our compulsive trains of thought. This creates space to feel what we might have been avoiding when our attention is absorbed in compulsive thinking. By dropping out of our habitual trains of thought we can start to understand the ways in which they enable us to avoid certain emotions.
Mindfulness creates the space to listen, notice and reflect on how we feel. This is a basis for emotionally sensitive and mature relationships.
Therapeutic conversations about the experience we are having in the here and now (particularly what we find difficult), enable us to pursue new lines of enquiry and reflection, and allows us to discover new ways of being with another person, new ways of communicating and listening.
We can better accept how and where we and other people are in this moment, rather than project unrealistic expectations about how we and others should be.
We can become more able to tolerate and accept the reality of this moment, and become less compulsively driven to escape from the present into imagined alternatives.
We can become more attentive, appreciative, grateful and compassionate. These are experiences we have in present moment awareness
Mindfulness can help us to find a better balance and relationship between our personality (our thinking self), and our wider human nature.
In these ways, mindfulness as a state of being, mindfulness of how we feel, and mindfulness in how we communicate and listen, are important elements of therapeutic development.