Hopefully, you have learned more about mindfulness during our past few days together and you feel ready to begin implementing mindfulness practices into your life.
As a review, mindfulness is pushing the “pause” button on your busy and sometimes chaotic daily life to be aware of your five senses in the present moment and settle into the right perspective of life’s circumstances. Consistently practicing mindfulness allows you to release yourself from the expectations of others and any pressures you are placing on yourself by bringing your body and mind back to the most basic levels of awareness, focusing on your five senses and how different sensations affect these senses.
This will help you cope with the stress that you are feeling in a healthy way, in the short-term and the long-term, providing you with an alternative behavior to your compulsion or couple addiction. Additional benefits of long-term mindfulness practice include:
- Improved sleep
- Heightened concentration and comprehension
- More positive emotions
- A healthier immune system
You should also remember that you will likely encounter obstacles along your journey to mindfulness, but these should not discourage you from continuing on. If you know how to approach these obstacles, they can become stepping stones instead.
- Distractions – When you experience a distraction, notice it without judgment and then bring your attention back to your breath.
- Skepticism – Trust the process and recognize that while you may not see immediate results, it is likely that your family and friends are, so ask them for feedback and encouragement.
- Impatience – Keep a long-term perspective, recognizing that you will not notice improvement from day to day, but rather from week to week and month to month as your well-being improves.
- Compulsive or Addictive Behavior – Your compulsive or addictive behavior pushes you to escape the present moment instead of dwelling in it, so push past your urgings and commit to your mindfulness practice instead.
Review the list of mindfulness resources below and take a step towards pursuing one of them: order a book, subscribe to a podcast, download an app. By integrating a mindfulness resource into your daily life, you will have a built-in support system in addition to your family and friends.
Mindfulness is a way of life that can help calm my addicted mind. I will commit to integrating it into my life and trust the process along the way.
In a few weeks or months, you will notice the impact that mindfulness practices have had on your life, and you will wonder how you got through the course of a day without slowing down to be aware of the present moment. Undoubtedly, your family and friends will notice a difference in your mental, emotional, and physical well-being as well and they will be so glad you started this journey. Hopefully, mindfulness will become so integrated into your life that you will be set up with the tools you need for handling any present or future situation confidently and calmly.
Podcast at UCLA:
Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle
The Mindful Path Through Worry and Rumination: Letting Go of Anxious and Depressive Thoughts by Sameet Kumar