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Introducing Mindfulness

7th April 2017

Guest blogger Fay takes a deep breath and focuses on mindfulness this week.

Mindfulness is becoming an increasingly popular topic, in everyday life as well as in relation to counselling. You may have heard the term, but are wondering what it is and why it’s so important?

Kabat-Zinn, a professor and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic refers to mindfulness as ‘paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally’. 

Mindfulness is important because it’s a key part of self-awareness, consciousness and self-reflection, but it also helps us reflect on the world around us.

Recovering from a compulsion or addictive behaviour can be a slow process and needs effort, determination and deeper knowledge of oneself. It takes time to understand deeper desires, thought processes and how past experiences relate to current behaviours. It also takes effort to take action, to change our thought processes and behaviours.

Self-awareness is key to the recovery process and is connected to psychological health, proactive management and compassion. Some cognitive distortions (thinking in a biased way about a situation or circumstance) that go side by side with addictive behaviours, manifest their distorting influence by not allowing us to reach to our deeper self and others.

Mindfulness may seem an intimidating idea at first but like all habits in life, it is developed with practice and commitment.

A few techniques for practising and experiencing mindfulness on your own are sitting meditations (attending to your breathing, sounds and thoughts), movement mediations (walking meditations and self-monitoring) and informal mindful activities of simply being aware of the moment you are currently experiencing (mindful eating/ driving/ reading).

Our services here at GamCare are dedicated to helping you move past harmful gambling behaviour, whether you are the gambler or not. Our expertly trained counsellors can help you restore your ability of being self-aware, controlling your emotions, communicating effectively and living a productive life.

If you are not quite ready to see a counsellor, our Helpline, NetLine, Chatroom and Forum are here for you too!