How much of your day is spent on “autopilot” moving from task to task always thinking of what happened earlier or making plans for the future? If you’re like most Americans, your answer is probably the majority of the day. There is another way to approach life.
Mindfulness means focusing on the present moment in a nonjudgmental way. Through becoming more mindful, you can improve your mental health. Beginning a regular meditation practice can help you feel in control of even your most difficult emotions (anger, fear, sadness) or at least improve your ability to face and cope with these feelings. Our therapists are trained and experienced in Mindfulness and Meditation techniques. Through counseling, you can learn to incorporate mindfulness into your life and develop a meditation practice that works for you.
Mindfulness in Counseling
At Aspire Counseling, we believe becoming more aware of both the world around you and your internal world is the first step toward better mental health. Thus, our therapists are trained in evidence based counseling methods that incorporate mindfulness. You may practice breathing exercises, use grounding stones, learn progressive muscle relaxation or just go over the DBT mind states during a therapy session at Aspire Counseling. As you become more aware, we’ll be able to use other counseling techniques such as teaching you skills to interact with your world differently, clarifying how you can act more consistently with your personal values or trauma therapy techniques. But the first step is often looking at your world with a nonjudgmental, realistic stance. In other words: Mindfulness.
If you are interested in improving your mental health, consider scheduling a free consultation with one of our therapists. If you have an established mindfulness practice already, we encourage you to share that during your first appointment. You can talk to your counselor about how mindfulness has helped already or what struggles you’ve faced and that can help determine the best course of treatment.
Technology & Mindfulness
One way that we’ve been teaching Mindfulness in our Mid Missouri counseling clinic is to use the MUSE headband. This brain sensing headband can help you more quickly and easily learn to meditate. We’ve taught kids as young as 5 to meditate using this device in our clinic. Basically, you meditate listening to a pleasant background noise (the ocean, rainforest, desert, a city park or ambient music) and then when your mind enters a more active state you hear a storm begin to pick up. This reminds you to gently calm your mind and return to meditating. As your mind clears, the storm will subside and you’ll more clearly hear the background noise.
Using technology also helps us make meditating more fun and interesting for the teenagers we work with. By meeting teenagers where they are (well versed in using technology where there’s an app for everything), teenagers in our clinic are learning to meditate effectively.
In addition to teaching people to use the MUSE and meditate in traditional therapy sessions, we use this, DBT mindfulness skills and other teaching resources in our meditation groups. Please e-mail us to find out when the next meditation group will begin or to set up individual session focused on learning meditation!
Relevant Blog Posts
- Is Meditation For Me?
- Happy Holidays….Just Breathe
- Why be Thankful
- Three Ways to Practice Gratitude
- Four Benefits of Gratitude
- Radical Acceptance
- Meditation for Grief
- Nature for Emotional Healing
- Meditation for Teenagers
Articles about Mindfulness & Meditation
Everyday we are learning more about the amazing benefits of Mindfulness and meditation. When you regularly practice meditation and mindfulness, you will experience both physical and mental health benefits. Some of the latest articles available about mindfulness and meditation from psychcentral.com can be found below:
- Three Simple Ways to Sustainable Happiness
- The Science and Power of Music
- 3 Steps to Releasing Negative Anxious Thoughts
- 7 Ways to Ease Your Anxious Mind
- Finding Success in Anything: On Striving Versus Effort
TED Talks about Mindfulness
Below are a few Mindfulness Meditations you may enjoy practicing with. If none of these are appealing (don’t worry, I won’t be offended), I encourage you to do a You Tube search for terms like “Mindfulness” or “Meditation” or even something more specific such as “Meditation for Depression,” “Safe Space Visualization,” “Body Scan,” “Progressive Muscle Relaxation” or “Meditation for Sleep.”