• Resilient Practice

A Mindfulness Exercise

Jon Kabat-Zinn the American professor, who developed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme, describes mindfulness as:

Awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally[1].”

Eckart Tolle calls mindfulness:

Presence” and describes the state of presence as “awareness without thought[2].”

Mindfulness is about existing actually in the now rather than through the filter of our thoughts about it.

A lot of the time our minds are full of thoughts, thoughts about the past and worries about the future. These include fears, remorse, guilt, shame and our self-accusation; occasionally our successes and happy memories too.

Most psychologists agree that the greater part of our thinking is repetitive. In fact research suggests that 95% of it is. Of this 80% is reported to be negative[3].

Mindfulness is about being aware of all these thoughts but not being consumed by them.

This means not attaching any emotional weight to them.

We can see our thoughts more clearly when we free ourselves from these emotional attachments.

When we truly observe our thoughts, we become aware of patterns that signpost us to our core beliefs.

Once we are aware of our core beliefs, if they are negative, we can choose to reframe them.

Following on from last week where we discussed how to visualise, this week we want to share an easy visualisation tool to achieve mindfulness.

This exercise is a way to quickly achieve a state of relaxation whilst at the same time affirming self-worth.

It is very short and simple, and incredibly pleasant to do.

Use it at times in the day when you need a boost or weave it into your ritual to improve self-esteem.

This tool has been adapted by Resilient Practice from David Cheek’s original exercise[4]

Try this:

Touch your thumb to your index you do so go back to a time when your body felt healthy fatigue.....perhaps you had just engaged in an exhilarating physical activity.

Sit with that feeling relive it with all your senses.

Touch your thumb to your middle you do so; go back to a time when you had a loving experience. It may be may be a warm embrace.....or an intimate conversation.

Sit with that feeling relive it with all your senses.

Touch your thumb to your ring you do so; go back to the best compliment you have ever received. Try to really accept it now. By accepting it, you are showing high regard for person who said it. You are really paying him or her a compliment.

Sit with that feeling relive it with all your senses.

Touch your thumb to your little you do so; go back to the most beautiful place you have ever been.

Stay there for a while, absorbing its beauty. Relive it with all your senses.

[1] Kabat-Zinn, J. The Healing Power of Mindfulness: A New Way of Being (2018) Barnes & Noble [2] Tolle, Eckhart. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. (2004). Namaste, Vancouver [3] [4] David Cheek (1995) Hypnosis: The Application of Ideomotor Techniques. Allyn & Bacon

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