“Mindfulness” is one of the latest mental health terms that has been co-opted and misappropriated by our society of trends. Mindfulness allegedly now has something to do with coloring books and a mythical state of letting everything go and being really super calm all the time. While attempting to guide clients into calming breathing exercises, I’ve had a few take themselves out of the exercise to tell me that they already try to practice “mindfulness.” While I’m glad that my clients are exploring better mental health on their own, it’s important that we get our concepts straight because true mindfulness is a valuable skill to practice.
Mindfulness is not about calming yourself: it’s about being aware of and acknowledging your actual feelings and thoughts about a situation.
So much of society lets us try to ignore, forget, and disconnect from negative feelings. Rather than going away, those feelings can fester. Sometimes we try to play “tug-of-war” with our negative thoughts and feelings and force them to go away. This is impossible in the big picture. Instead of trying to fight or flee in times of negative experiences, mindfulness is recognizing and naming those negative feelings and ideas. It is being aware of our experiences and allowing them to exist with us. As the linked post above mentions, the key is often “‘dropping the rope’ and letting the monster be present while you focus on going about your day.”
You have a right to be exactly where you are and feel exactly what you do. What you do next belongs to you. Whether you’d like help understanding and being where you are or making your next decisions, Flourish Mental Health can help. Give us a call at 832-639-2015 or send us an email to make an appointment. Web appointments are available to anywhere in Texas.