We live in a frenetic society, which has acquired its own rhythm, which is always in a hurry, which always has something to do. Today, “not doing” means not being productive, not keeping up to date, not making the most of time, in short “not being”.
The feeling that this lifestyle produces is that of having to be continually busy, connected; it keeps us alert, a mechanism related to stress responses.
It is true, however, that stress is necessary for the survival of the species , but in the long term, when stress is sustained over time, elevated levels of cortisol (stress-related hormone) have detrimental effects on health.
Therefore, stress is undoubtedly one of society’s great problems and it affects more and more people at certain times in their lives. And the consequences are clear, more and more people suffer from ailments such as depression, anxiety and psychosomatic illnesses, all of which are associated with high levels of stress.
The keys to Mindfulness as a tool against stress
But… what lies behind the activation of the mechanisms of stress? Closely related to stress is our ability to recognize and manage our mental activity.
Our mind is in constant dialogue, ruminating, going into the past and anticipating the future, planning, etc. Therefore, it is important that we learn to recognize what thoughts come to our mind, and what feelings are associated with these thoughts.
From this perspective works the Mindfulness philosophy , which is based on learning to become aware, to focus our attention on what we want and thus enjoy a full experience, without being absorbed in other thoughts.
For some years now, Mindfulness has been establishing itself in our lives as a formula for learning to enjoy life to the full. But… where does this idea come from?
Foundations in an ancient tradition
Mindfulness is a word of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a term used to translate the word “pali sati” which denotes awareness, attention, memory. This full attention is conjugated with meditation techniques that have to do with the Buddhist tradition .
We can say that Mindfulness is a quality of the mind, or an ability to be conscious in the present moment. The practice of Mindfulness invites us to value life from a new perspective, that of seeing clearly what is happening in the “here and now”.
John Kabat-Zinn provides a definition of Mindfulness that characterizes it as “intentional attention to the present moment, without judgment.
The practice of Mindfulness is having very good results in the field of psychiatry and clinical psychology . And it is not for nothing, since the benefits can become evident from the first practice.
How to start practicing?
To start practicing Mindfulness we can do informal meditations and then move on to formal practice. Informal meditation is that which we do when we are paying full attention to certain automatic activities, that is to say, that we do without realizing it or as it is usually said with the “automatic pilot” on.
These are activities that are generally neither pleasant nor unpleasant and that we have made into habits: taking a shower, walking around, brushing our teeth, driving, locking the door before leaving…
The proposal from the informal practice of full consciousness is that we choose an activity or habit that we usually do automatically and do it with full consciousness . To do the formal practices or meditations it is necessary to have an adequate place and time, since full consciousness is a quality of the mind, but it requires training and for that it is necessary to practice daily.
A training proposal in Mindfulness
For those who want to start the practice of Mindfulness, or deepen in the full experience, in Centro TAP, from our commitment to accompany and create spaces for personal growth, we use these techniques as a complement to our therapeutic work obtaining very good results in the short, medium and long term.
In addition, we offer training workshops in Mindfulness for all people who are interested in learning about and deepening their practice of this discipline. Learning to enjoy life consciously and fully is in your hands. Are you joining us?