Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a particular type of cognitive therapy, which involves training yourself to be more aware of your thoughts, and to stand-back from your flow of thoughts and be less controlled by your thought patterns. For example, a person who experiences a lot of anxiety usually anticipates problems and expects things to go wrong. Worrying to that extent causes the anxiety to get worse and also triggers physical symptoms such as perspiration and increased heart rate. Mindfulness allows us to develop an understanding that you are not your thoughts. Identifying with negative thoughts causes the anxious person to feel as if the anticipated ‘disasters’ were actually happening. We forget that the expected problems have not actually happened and are not real. Mindfulness is perhaps most closely associated with Jon Kabat-Zinn: