Whether working hard to be a good parent, partner, friend and colleague or working hard to “keep up” or “get ahead,” it is easy to be overloaded. Our minds are filled with multiple demands, tasks and responsibilities that keep us busy 24/ 7. At times it can seem impossible to focus on any task through to completion. Necessary sleep can even be interrupted. It can feel impossible to relax because our minds are full!
When we are over-burdened and over-booked, it is easy to be over-whelmed with stress. Increased stress adversely impacts many systems in our body, including the brain, heart, stomach, pancreas and the immune system, thereby negatively affecting our emotional and physical well-being.
Mindfulness is an increasingly recommended evidence based strategy for reducing stress. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, "Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally. It's about knowing what is on your mind." Yet, in this overbooked world, it is challenging to integrate mindfulness.
increases activity in the pre-frontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with positive mood;
improves working memory;
enhances performance significantly on all measures of attention;
improves cognitive flexibility;
decreases emotional reactivity;
increases immune functioning.
Take Action and Get Positive Results
When your mind is too "full," it is hard to be mindful. Learning mindfulness can be a powerful antidote to the stresses of modern life. Begin a mindfulness practice, whether through controlled breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or qigong. Engage your inner scientist: see if you notice any differences in your physical or emotional state. Be gentle with your expectations as you start up. Remember: change starts with taking one small step.
If you are having trouble incorporating this technique on your own, you could experiment with various apps and see if there is any one you particularly like. Or schedule an appointment with a qualified practitioner.
At Core Counseling, you can pursue Mind-Body Wellness through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness and other therapeutic techniques. To find out more or to schedule an appointment, call me at Core Counseling, LLC: 201.875.5699. Experience a comfortable, private and confidential environment with an atmosphere of encouragement, optimism and compassion.
Together we can find solutions to your core issues. "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." Jon Kabat-Zinn