Liza Hinchey is a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor (LLPC) in private practice at Trinity Family Counseling Center. Liza completed dual Master’s degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy from Wayne State University, and works with individuals, families, and groups across a range of presenting issues.
For the past several years, the word “mindfulness” has been heard just about everywhere…but what exactly does it mean? And just as importantly, why does it work?
Mindfulness can most easily be understood as a focus on the present moment, whether this moment is pleasant, uncomfortable, boring, ecstatic, or anything else. It means not getting swept away in the tide of thoughts that constantly swirls in our minds, and instead taking a breath, settling, and observing our experience without judgment.
Mindfulness is such a positive force in counseling because, by definition, it counteracts two of the most universal struggles we have as human beings: guilt and anxiety. Stripped down to their essence, guilt is a focus on the past, and anxiety a focus on the future. Naturally, learning to be present in the now is a remedy for both. And after all, are we truly ever anywhere but…now? Mindfulness helps us remain in the moment, the only place where our lives are really happening.
Once we are able to focus on our experiences without judgment, we can start to make changes to how we react to these moments, and thus change our lives. We can begin to approach each experience, no matter how difficult, with our calm, centered selves. “No pain, no gain” is a myth. Instead, we can observe how we feel in the now, take a breath, and find the ease in any moment.