“Mindfulness” may feel like the new buzzword in psychological treatment, but the term has been used in psychological treatment for decades and in spiritual realms for centuries. Mindfulness has been proven to be an effective way to deal with anxiety and other symptoms, in fact, the “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” program was instituted at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. Here at the Trauma and Beyond Center ®, we use mindfulness (as well as other forms of therapy) to help provide relief from anxiety in Los Angeles.
The definition of mindfulness that we link to on our site says that mindfulness “means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.” You may be wondering why mindfulness therapy has been more popular in recent years. Of course, in part, it’s because mindfulness is quite effective. However, mindfulness is also popular because it helps to separate us from all of the distractions that can exacerbate our anxiety. Social media, smartphones, email, and more – they can keep us from truly maintaining a moment by moment awareness of ourselves. Moreover, they rarely provide a gentle, nurturing lens of our lives.
Mindfulness and Acceptance
It can be very difficult for people with anxiety to live without judgment. When you have anxiety, it can feel like you’re being judged every second of every day. “I’m not doing enough, I don’t look good enough, I’m not accomplished enough, I’m not happy enough”—that can be just a few of the thoughts that run through the mind of a person with anxiety. Mindfulness has been proven to be very effective at countering these negative thoughts for a very clear reason: mindfulness involves acceptance. With mindfulness, there is no judgment. Rather, it’s about paying attention to and truly noticing your feelings. With mindfulness we can learn to be in the present rather than with the ghosts and voices of the past.
Feeling without Judgment
When you have anxiety, it’s normal to fall into a trap where you feel like you’re doing the “wrong” thing every day. You’re thinking the wrong thing, you’re feeling the wrong thing – everything is wrong. That’s not the case, but that’s the story your mind may tell you. Mindfulness can keep that voice from getting so loud by just focusing on one moment: the moment that’s occurring right now. It doesn’t let the past creep in so that your anxious mind relives past traumas. By that same token, mindfulness keeps the future at bay, as well. Instead of imagining all the things that could go wrong in the future, it allows you to just be in this moment, right here and now.
Many Ways to Treat Anxiety in Los Angeles
Mindfulness somatic is integrated into many of the methods of treatment at Trauma and Beyond ®. It is more than just a therapy, it can be a way of life. To decrease anxiety, we support our clients in learning how to stay in the moment, establish safety, and help their nervous systems learn to recognize actual danger from perceived danger or danger based on projections of the past. At Trauma and Beyond Center ® we utilize many therapy modalities and our clients have reported finding this variety of styles very beneficial to their treatment growth. Find out more by calling us at (818) 651-0725.