by: Allison Lloyds, MS, LMFT
Mindfulness is becoming increasingly common in the world of psychology; it’s an intervention that I consistently use in my work with clients. When going through a difficult time period in your life a divorce or separation, many of my clients can feel very overwhelmed making it difficult to get through the day. Mindfulness can help.
Just a bit of quick background -- mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to whatever you’re experiencing as it’s happening in the present. It’s about being fully anchored in the moment instead of worrying about the future or analyzing what has happened in the past.
Being mindful means you are becoming more aware of your thoughts, your feelings and emotions as well as your behaviors, simply recognizing them as they are, without judging them. When you’re being mindful, you’re not overwhelmed by thoughts, memories, emotions, worries, fears and other distractions (there are so many distractions these days!). You are simply focusing your attention on what you’re doing and experiencing right now, in the present, as it’s happening before you.
Instead of struggling to escape, avoid or bury painful thoughts you feel able to experience and move through these feelings and situations with awareness, understanding and a dose of self-compassion. Mindfulness can help you change the way you think and break out of the trap of old beliefs and mental programming which isn’t doing you any favors. When we are not aware of what is going on around us, we are more likely to feel disconnected and engage in unhealthy patterns which aren’t serving us well.
It’s important to try to step back and pay attention to what truly matters in your life and what you want out of a romantic relationship. What are your needs? It’s important to really get to know yourself. Being aware of your values can help you live in a more mindful way and hopefully connect with another person who is the right fit. When we are living our lives on autopilot, we have no idea who or what is really influencing our decisions and actions.
Being mindful and focused on the present moment does not mean that you are floating aimlessly, without future goals or a sense of direction. In my opinion, it’s all about balance. It’s about having those future goals but also stepping back and being able to focus on what is going on in your life in the here and now.
When life becomes routine and automatic, it’s easy to miss out on all of the exciting possibilities which are all around us. No day is going to be perfect. I remind my clients to try to choose to focus more on the happy moments than on the painful ones. Our brains are powerful and it’s up to us to guide them in a positive direction
Allison Lloyds, LMFT supports clients in finding and creating more happiness, peace, and cultivating healthy relationships. Allison's specialties include working with individuals and couples who are successful in many aspects of their lives, but want to improve their relationships, career or work dynamics, or are seeking support in dealing with life transitions, loss, depression or anxiety. Allison is a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the Women's Mental Health Consortium and the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. She writes for HopeAfterDivorce.org, FamilyShare.com, CupidsPulse.com, and LAFamily.com. You can learn more about Allison and her private practice by visiting www.synergeticpsychotherapy.com or calling (917) 399-3837. Follow Allison on Twitter @SynergeticPsych.