Have you ever been in the midst of an ordinary activity when suddenly your mind wanders, your heart pounds, and your stomach is in knots? Ideally, there is nothing anxiety-provoking about sitting at a conference table. But there IS something anxiety-provoking when you’re thinking about what will happen next or what has happened in the past. Thus is the need for mindfulness training to learn to stay in the present moment.
Mindfulness-based therapies have gained traction over the past three decades. In 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn pioneered mindfulness. It was later presented by Marsha Linehan as a key tenant in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Studies on this technique are continuously being performed in Texas.
Mindfulness-based therapy is an effective treatment for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and eating disorders. It has also been linked to an enhanced immune system, greater nourishment, enhanced relationships, and lower blood pressure.
Mindfulness is described as "a way of paying attention: present and nonjudgmentally." This includes being open to feelings and thoughts as they arise. Simply accepting them for what they are, rather than attempting to change them or run away from them.
Substance use disorders, PTSD, anxiety, and eating disorders are inherently avoidant. Recovery, therefore, requires staying in the present moment.
Mindfulness exercises assist people in the moment rather than focusing on finding their next “fix” to get rid of the pain. Individuals learn that feelings will pass if he or she can just ride them out. They also promote the recognition of our bodies, minds, and the environment’s constantly evolving state.
Consider a time when you were in deep emotional pain. Did it change? How long did it last? Helping someone understand that their current state is not everlasting will greatly reduce their desire to leave with a temporary high.
When people first try to abstain, they often feel guilty for having cravings. Mindfulness techniques, such as urge surfing, teach acceptance of the cravings without judgment. Urges are natural, but they will come and go. The urge surfing technique means one simply rides them out without acting on them to truly understand this aspect of reality.
Combined with other coping strategies, these techniques provide a framework for recovery that builds self-esteem and reduces shame by creating a sense of self-acceptance. This self-acceptance can address the problems that initially led to evasive coping, thereby laying the foundation for permanent healing and recovery.
Because we believe in treating the whole person - mind, body, and spirit, our approach to therapy helps individuals develop lifeline coping skills. Individuals are exposed to a variety of treatment strategies and therapies in a safe environment where true healing can take place. Mindfulness Therapy is just one of the many techniques we use to aid in your journey to recovery.