Links

Please visit any of the following links for further information on mental health resources in our community.

If you are experiencing a psychological emergency or feel you are in crisis, please dial 9-1-1 immediately or call the crisis line at 1-800-332-4224.

Mindfulness:  Awareness that emerges through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding experiences, moment by moment.

Awareness: Our body goes on autopilot and we do not always notice when events are happening.  Our brain leads us automatically, basically out of habits we have already established.  When you learn to be mindful, you learn to be aware of the sequences of experiences that lead you to inappropriate behaviors (arguing leads to emotional issues, which lead to fighting) before it actually happens.  Awareness means you can pay attention to control your experiences that lead you through your body feelings, including your breathing, your thoughts, your intensions, and your emotions.

Present Moment: Our brain naturally wonders, and we are often distracted from paying attention to the present moment to things that are happening in our environment.  We do a lot of things on “auto pilot” – sometimes even driving!  Paying attention purposely is recognizing when something has distracted us and purposely redirecting our attention to the here and now experiences.  While brushing your teeth pay attention to the bristles, the taste of the toothpaste, and not about something in the upcoming day.  Understanding yourself and your behaviors in the present moment can help you learn more about yourself and your body. 

Nonjudgmentally: We often judge our experiences as “good” or “bad”, “justified” or “unjustified”.  We like to label, evaluate, and judge how we feel.  When you become mindful, you understand the experience as just an experience and know that it is what it is.  Have compassion for yourself and reserve the judgement.  Judgement can be the desire to avoid or escape things or feelings and interfere with your mindfulness.

Moment by Moment:  All of our experiences are temporary.  Feelings change, thoughts come and go.  Physical sensations come and go.  We cannot predict how our experiences are going to change from moment to moment, but if we are mindful, we can observe the way our thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations unfold and to learn about our bodily sensations with curiosity.  You can learn to be an observer of your reactions without reacting to it in the moment. 

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  • Mindfulness can help you retrain your brain to take a thoughtful approach to respond to stress, rather than reacting to experiences.
  • Studies show that practicing mindfulness helps relieve depression and anxiety.Studies also show that practicing mindfulness reduces cravings for alcohol and drugs and is helpful to those who are in recovery from addictions in preventing relapse.
  • Tune IN – Step out of autopilot.There is no right or wrong way when you are practicing mindfulness.Just simply learn to observe your experiences.
  • What is the difference between reacting and responding? Reacting we do automatically!Responding is becoming mindful about our feelings, decisions and being present.

                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                             Edwards, S. (2015)

                                                                                                                                                         Natalie Harding, Post-Doctoral Clinical Psychologist

                                                                                                                                                         Capstone Behavioral Health

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