By Simon DuBois - Psychologist, The Health Lodge
As a Psychologist, I am using Mindfulness training more and more in my daily treatment of clients.
Mindfulness helps us identify when our minds are engulfed by unhelpful, stress-producing thoughts, and encourages mental distance from them. We are then in a better position to achieve emotional calm and think more clearly in difficult life situations.
Through the act of gently watching your inner brain dialogue and guiding your attention to a specific place in your body, mind or environment, you are strengthening your ability to notice what is happening within yourself, and taking your attention to where you would like it to be. We gain more mastery over our mental experience, rather than have distressing emotions be the driver of us.
When you participate in a mindfulness based practice it’s a bit like taking your brain to the gym. With ongoing practice your mental strength can improve significantly over time. When we strengthen our minds in the mindfulness gym we can manage the mental and emotional challenges of life with more ease.
We live in an amazing age of technology which gives us immediate access to really well constructed mindfulness programs. And if we own a tablet or a smart phone we can access and use them just about anywhere. Here are my top five favourite mindfulness apps you can download onto your device. Have a go at one and help yourself become the master of that chattering mind.
1. Smiling Mind: Young people really like this one. Smiling Mind is a meditation app customised by age for anxiety and depression, ranging from small children to adults.
2. Headspace: Headspace is a project designed to demystify meditation. Using the wonders of science and technology, they make it easy-to-learn, fun-to-do, and relevant to your everyday life.
3. Actcompanion: Guided mindfulness meditation exercises, like body scan and mindful breathing, help you get started with the basics of mindfulness training.
4. Mindful Creation: Gain a greater sense of connection to meaningful life experiences. Step out of repetitive thinking patterns. Break free from reactive behavioural patterns. Release stress, and overcome boredom and frustration. Enjoy a simple, yet effective way to know yourself.
5. The Mindfulness App: Do you want to find more balance in today’s increasingly stressful existence? The Mindfulness App is a tool for increasing your awareness in life. It helps you with the most difficult aspect of Mindfulness practice – namely to remember to be mindful.
6. 1Giant Mind: Meditation is no longer a fringe idea or some hippie hocus pocus. Doctors, CEOs, celebrities, athletes, corporations, schools, and even the military are meditating. Meditating regularly has a real and lasting positive impact on our lives. Not only does it reduce stress and anxiety and the risk of stress-related mental illness and disease, it also increases our sense of calm, improves our health, and makes us happier.
Simon Dubois is a Psychologist at The Health Lodge in Byron Bay. To book an appointment contact The Health Lodge on 02 6685 6445.