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Mindfulness Therapy

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Mindfulness is fully focusing your attention on the present moment. You can apply it in everything you do. It is used for stress, anxiety, burnout or tension symptoms and can improve the quality of your life. In this article, you can read more about the benefits of mindfulness and mindfulness therapy.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is about being present in the here and now. You’re giving your full attention to the moment while observing it with all your senses. When you practice mindfulness, you are aware of the thoughts, feelings and physical sensations that pass without judgment. You just simply observe. Originally, the practice of mindfulness comes from Buddhism and Hinduism. From there, it has slowly made its way into modern, Western psychology. At iPractice, we use mindfulness to reduce various psychological symptoms.

 

Where attention goes, energy flows

By practicing mindfulness, you learn to redirect your attention. By focusing your attention on what you want to give attention, you are more likely to notice distractions such as unhelpful thoughts. You can consciously respond to them by repeatedly directing your attention back to that which you want to give attention. The result: improved concentration and a calm and relaxed mind. Stress is reduced and you experience the things you give your attention to more intensely. You absorb things better and you can enjoy them more.
You’re less likely to respond to situations on autopilot. Instead, you make conscious choices. This doesn’t mean you’ll never get angry again but it does enable you to respond more thoughtfully. This may result in reacting calmly, or with appropriate anger. Thanks to better awareness, you are less likely to overstep your boundaries.

 

Meditation as part of mindfulness

Meditation is a part of mindfulness. The two terms do not have the same meaning. Meditation is a formal exercise within mindfulness: you sit down and take time to focus on the silence or your breathing. You can also apply mindfulness in your everyday life. You use it continuously. For example, cutting vegetables or brushing your teeth with attention in the moment. You use all your senses when doing this – how does the toothpaste smell and taste? What do you hear? What do you see?

 

Is mindfulness right for me?

Mindfulness can also be used when you are not experiencing psychological symptoms. Are you experiencing symptoms? This therapy can help if you:

 

  • You often have the feeling that life is passing you by
    You have a busy schedule and feel overwhelmed at times. As a result, you’re not fully aware of everything you’re experiencing.
  • Want to enjoy yourself more
    In the process, experience peace, introspection and stillness in your life;
  • Want to worry less
    To be less consumed by your thoughts, and to simply be more present;
  • Experience physical symptoms as a result of tension or stress
    Think of muscle pain or headaches. For example, headaches and pains, but also, fatigue, insomnia, and high blood pressure can also be signs of stress;
  • Have sleeping problems
    Or you suffer from general fatigue;
  • Want to learn to concentrate better
    And learn how to hold your attention;
  • Have depression and/or suffer from anxiety;
  • Are experiencing psychological consequences of chronic illness or adversity.

 

How does mindfulness therapy work?

Mindfulness treatments can be divided into two groups. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).

 

MBSR is a set program of eight sessions. It’s an intensive mindfulness training that combines knowledge from yoga, meditation, Western medical science, and cognitive psychology. The program makes you more observant about the difference between the things you’re experiencing and what your thoughts are. As a result, you learn to respond more consciously and break patterns.

 

MBCT is a variant of MBSR that is specifically aimed at preventing relapses into depression. As a result of this therapy, you learn to recognize triggers that might cause you to have a relapse. You learn how to see these non-helpful feelings as something that will pass with time.
Practicing mindfulness doesn’t always mean going through the set protocols of MBSR or MBCT. A psychologist will work with you to see which exercises are valuable to you and how to make these exercises part of your daily life and personal treatment. These could be exercises from either MBSR or MBCT.

Mindfulness benefits

Mindfulness helps reduce symptoms of mental health difficulties. Even without symptoms, mindfulness offers benefits to your health and overall mood.

 

What is mindfulness good for?

 

  • Research shows that mindfulness reduces stress and improves quality of life;
  • People who practice mindfulness experience improved attention, alertness and cognitive activity (your memory, for example);
  • Your ability to concentrate also increases;
  • It works preventatively against anxiety;
  • It increases your productivity and energy;
  • You enjoy your life more;
  • It contributes to better relationships and communication;
  • Mindfulness helps you sleep better;
  • And, in addition, being able to get swept up in the moment improves your sexual experiences.

 

Meditation as part of mindfulness

Meditation techniques are used as formal exercises to learn to live mindfully. An example of such formal exercise is the body scan. During this exercise you make contact and connection with your body. You take a guided journey through your body. You scan your body from bottom to top. You focus your attention on all of the parts of your body. You consciously observe any discomfort, feeling or pains that is present in your body at that moment. In addition, you may notice what thoughts and feelings are present. You are challenged to do this in a curious way without judgment, just observing. In this way, you train your attention.

 

Mindfulness at OpenUp

Want to see if mindfulness is right for you? OpenUp offers very accessible, free mindfulness sessions.

 

Find a psychologist for mindfulness

Do you have questions about what mindfulness can do for you? Or are you unsure about when to see a psychologist?

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    Talk to a psychologist without obligation by calling 085-1308900. Or contact us online for more information. Together we will see if mindfulness can be a solution for you.

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    At iPractice, you will work with 2 psychologists. Treatment consists of both online contact and regular consultation room sessions at one of iPractice’s locations. Or find out more information about the intake and treatment process at iPractice.

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    Mindfulness can provide an anchor in the here and now, taking us out of our worrying about the past or the future.

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    The cost of therapy is reimbursed by most health insurance companies with a referral letter from the general practitioner and if the classification is determined according to DSM-5 guidelines. See which health insurance companies reimburse our care.

FAQ

What is the goal of mindfulness?

The goal of mindfulness is to become more aware and better able to direct your attention.

How quickly does mindfulness work?

Mindfulness must be practiced frequently in order to be effective. On a scan we see result after 8 weeks of daily practice. In our practice, some people notice a difference after just a few weeks of practice.

What if mindfulness doesn't work?

Mindfulness is not always the best treatment for everyone. For example, it may make you more anxious if you are not used to being so aware of what you are thinking and feeling. This is normal, and mindfulness may not be the best treatment for you right now. It might help to learn how to direct your attention to things outside yourself. You may also feel that mindfulness does not work because your conception of mindfulness is not quite right. Often people think it should have a relaxation effect and you should not be distracted. This is not correct. Mindfulness is an attention training. Relaxation can be a consequence, but it doesn’t have to be. Being distracted is normal and human and part of mindfulness.

publish-icon Published - 19 Nov 2021
Sanne has experience with treatments such as ACT, CBT and mindfulness. She uses mindfulness to slow down, feel and connect. In this way, she helps you focus your attention on what is in the present.
psycholoog-sanne-truijen-ipractice
Psychologist Sanne Truijen

iPractice offers everyone:

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085-1308900

Psychologists experienced in mindfulness therapy

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Kiki Bruggink

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Bregje Brenninkmeijer

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