Debbie Caine is the newest member of the Trinity Family Counseling Center team. She has completed all coursework required for her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Oakland University, and is scheduled to graduate in December 2018. Her work at Trinity is under the direct supervision of Tonya Ratliff, LPC, NCC, ACS.
Mindfulness is being fully present in the moment. It is experiencing the world that is firmly planted in the “here and now”. How much of our lives do we spend in autopilot? How many times have we been driving and realized we have been thinking about our to-do list?
Mindfulness is the opposite of being in autopilot. It allows us to free ourselves of automatic and unhelpful ways of thinking. By staying in the present, we eliminate depressive thoughts of the past and anxious thoughts of the future. It aims to shift our focus away from thinking to simply observing thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations with a kind and gentle curiosity. It is acknowledging our experience in a non-judgmental way and creating an awareness of our mind, body, and spirit.
Mindfulness is a skill that takes time to develop. There are several techniques used to practice mindfulness. Breathing and meditation are two key components used in training. A few examples of exercises in mindfulness include; body scanning, mindful eating, grounding by use of the five senses, music, gardening, art, walking, yoga, practicing gratitude, and praying.
Bringing our attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment is essential. Think of it as getting into the zone, pressing the pause button, or putting the phone away. Mindfulness is paying attention to your life as if it really mattered.
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1