Stress and chronic pain have one thing in common: they can both be better controlled through mindfulness. We show you simple exercises that you can easily integrate into your everyday life without additional training time and show you what you can achieve with mindfulness. Try it out!
Mindfulness is the trend
The demand for mindfulness is great. Hardly any other term from psychotherapy is in such high demand. Books on mindfulness are written, bought and presumably read, seminars shoot out of the ground by the dozen – many of them are fully booked. Yes, it is almost a real “mindfulness boom” that is spreading.
But why is that? What do people expect from more mindfulness? Sometimes one can get the impression that people are looking for more attentiveness, while our society is becoming more and more careless.
Perhaps it is exactly this lack in our present that awakens the desire for more attentiveness and makes people search for it.
But there is certainly more that drives people in search of mindfulness. On the one hand there is the widespread feeling of being overtaxed, the longing for peace – also in one’s own head. Usually, dozens of thoughts chase through our heads. What else do we not “have to” think of?
Mindfulness exercises can help us
- against eternal brooding,
- against circling thoughts and
- in the case of poor concentration, by
- for more peace in our minds.
Mindfulness instead of stopping thinking and positive thinking.
Unfortunately, it is not enough simply to stop thoughts or replace them with positive ones, as is repeatedly propagated. Anyone who tries not to think of a pink elephant will probably fail just as much as an alcoholic who does not want to think of alcohol. Paradoxically, thoughts that we try to repress are particularly intense. And positive thinking also has its pitfalls: If you have a good self-confidence, you can increase it by saying “I am a lovable person”. With insecure humans the thought can cause however exactly the opposite, because memories come up, which do not want to fit so at all to this statement.
According to the current state of affairs, it is not about the content of our thoughts, about the question of whether they are good or bad. The real problem is rather how we deal with them. It is about how we judge our thinking.
What is “mindfulness”?
Origin of mindfulness
The concept of mindfulness originally comes from spirituality. Its roots go back 2500 years to Buddhism. There mindfulness (Pali: “sati”) was seen as a step towards enlightenment.
Mindfulness in Language
In our language we find statements like “Be careful”, “Be careful” and “Be careful”.
Comparable words to “mindfulness” are “awareness” and “awareness”.
They already show that mindfulness is much about perception. This is also expressed in the English “Mindfulness”, which can be translated as mindfulness, presence and awareness.
Perception – without evaluation
Mindfulness training is all about experiencing the present moment attentively, alertly and neutrally. This is easier said than done and therefore one learns and practices exactly this again and again during attention training.
The main thing is to be where we are. To be present. And without any evaluation at all.
Dr. Michael Huppertz, Darmstadt, says accordingly:
“Mindfulness is a non-judgmental, unintentional attitude towards what is happening at the moment.
And Prof. Dr. Georg Eifert:
“Mindfulness is a special way of directing attention to our current experience. This happens: In the here and now, (almost) without evaluation and without changing the experience.”
So that what sounds so abstract becomes tangible for you, we immediately enter into practice.
What are the advantages of being more mindful?
In psychotherapy, mindfulness exercises are used in many areas. Both healthy and sick people can benefit from them. Mindfulness can not only successfully reduce stress, but also improve the quality of life for physical complaints such as chronic pain or tinnitus. Here is a selection of the numerous possible uses of mindfulness exercises.
With mindfulness to more serenity
Our everyday life is getting more and more rushed and fleeting. We carelessly pass things by because everything is simply too much for us. And yet it is mindfulness that offers us the chance to get out of the hamster wheel and find more serenity.
With mindfulness against burnout and stress
It has been shown to students that mindfulness improves stress management. Employees in the health sector felt less stress due to mindfulness, but more presence and compassion.
With mindfulness against sleep disorders
Through professional mindfulness exercises (MBSR = Mindfulness based stress reduction) sleep can be improved. Patients with sleep disorders learn through this training how to deal better with disturbing, troubling thoughts.
With mindfulness against depressions
Not only sleep disturbances, also depressions can be consequence of a restless mind. Professionally guided mindfulness exercises can help here as patients learn to stay in the here and now and not follow their cloudy thoughts. This can halve the risk of getting depression again.