Taking Mindful Advice Along Life's Way

Mindfulness. Such a huge buzzword these days.

Dr Dan Siegel says if there were a pill on the market that did everything mindfulness has been proven to do, that pill would be flying off the shelves. Scientifically proven to decrease blood pressure, heart and brain problems, inflammations, emotional reactivity, anxiety, stress, and rumination, it is also proven to improve immune systems, heart rate, longevity, focus and attention, empathy for self and others, and overall wellbeing and health.

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, who brought mindfulness to U Mass in the late 1970s and developed Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, defines mindfulness by saying:

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”

A wonderful result of tuning into one’s own moment-by-moment reality is the ability to notice each feeling and emotion experienced, as well as the sensations that are felt within the body. While this can all be wonderful, it also has the potential, I have come to realize, for a person to overnotice; or, should I say that I, personally, found myself hyper-examining each sensation and each incident that took place.

As a naturally emotional and empathetic person, trust me when I tell you that I don’t need to move further to the extreme than I already find myself. And, it is times like these that it is wise to seek the counsel of another. The best person for me would be someone I love, trust, and respect, or an appropriate combination of these qualities, but there is no doubt that receiving input from others can prove to be most helpful.

Whomever you decide is the best option for you, being able to choose the right person is a decidedly personal decision that each individual needs to make. For me, I think I received wonderful advice from my first choice for input:

Feel what you need to feel, accept it, and then look toward your happiness. If something hurts, go to the appropriate doctor if it gives you peace of mind. Presuming nothing serious is found, what would happen if you just put that ache or pain aside? Celebrate the fact that nothing serious is wrong with you, and just ‘be happy.’ Stop worrying about every little thing. Yes, what happened to that other person is sad, and I understand why those physical ailments bother you, but they don’t need to stop your life, stop you from living, or stop you from enjoying the blessings you find yourself surrounded.

I will admit that I have been the lucky recipient of some wonderful advice over the years. For this, whether those words of wisdom came from therapists, friends, or family, I will always be eternally grateful for the way they have helped me along the way.

Be well.

Dr W

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