Everyday Mindfulness

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist

Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

By Nancy Stoops

All we seem to be hearing about is “being mindful” and the benefits that come from it.  Be mindful involves being in the moment, being totally engaged in what you are doing.  For example, let’s say you are mindfully walking your dog.  As you walk, you really pay attention to the rhythm of your feet as you take each step.  You’re not thinking about anything; you’re just fully present and engaged in the action of the walking.  This idea of being fully engaged is the idea of being mindful.  You’re not thinking about what you will be doing after the walk or anything else; you are just fully absorbed in the walking.  This mindfulness should be incorporated into everything that you do all day long.  When you are mindful all day long, you are really putting yourself in a calm meditative state of being.

As I research pain management and meditation, I’m finding that mindfulness lowers pain because when we are fully present we are focused on what we are doing in each moment.  When we do this, we almost forget about the pain because we aren’t giving it our attention anymore, so our brain turns the volume down on the pain.  The stress of pain and all the worry about pain actually turns up the volume of the pain in our brains.  When we are mindful and less anxious, focused on the doing of the present moment, our focus is shifted; therefore, our brain turns down the volume of our pain.  So by being mindful, l we actually are able to manage the volume or intensity of our pain.

Practice being mindful with each chore or activity you do.  You will be amazed how your body starts to relax.  You will be amazed how you have less pain and are able to focus better.  I think of mindfulness as a kind of meditation for the everyday person.

This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T.  Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  Nancy is now accepting new clients.  She also works as a motivational speaker.  Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups for teens and can handle many court mandated needs.  For more information about any of these services contact Nancy at (909) 229-0727.  You may e-mail Nancy at nancyjstoops@verizon.net. You may purchase Nancy’s books Live Heal and Grow and Midnight the Therapy Dog at Amazon.com.