Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

Author, Mental Health Therapist, Researcher, Expert in Attachment Trauma

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Mindfulness is a Lifestyle

Thinking_Of_Fun_by_12055Relaxation and meditation are extremely beneficial for reducing stress, reducing cortisol and inflammation in the brain, and calming reactivity.  But mindfulness involves even more than activities that change consciousness.  Mindfulness involves staying present to all of our experiences, including feelings of sadness, anger, hurt, loneliness, or any other emotions.  The practice of mindfulness includes staying aware of tension or urges.  When we are mindful, we experience our inner state without judgment, no matter what it may be.  We are able to take a step back and think about what we are feeling and thinking without reacting reflexively.  We are able to stay present and introspective.  Without mindfulness, we simply react, and rid ourselves of any uncomfortable feelings as quickly as possible.  We may find ourselves “letting loose” on anyone in our path, “numbing out” with TV, alcohol, or dissociation, or acting impulsively, making a bad situation worse.

Mindfulness may require an entire lifestyle change.  It requires practice, conscious awareness and living with intention on a daily basis.  Mindfulness is acceptance and openness to all the experiences of day-to-day life.  Therapy is a wonderful way to develop greater mindfulness.  So is the practice of meditation, yoga, prayer, or spiritual studies.  There are many routes.  Don’t allow yourself to go through life reacting, hiding, or numbing out.  Live life fully.

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