September 5, 2017
The term mindfulness is a popular term these days. I once had a client who used the term mindfulness in a way to that really meant that she wanted others to “be mindful” of what she wanted and demanded. This was a misuse of the idea of mindfulness. Passive-aggressivity cloaked in the language of a spiritual practice; an example of pseudo-spirituality to gain power and control. She was not asking people to be mindful; she was asking people to cow-tow to her specific and rigid needs. Mindfulness is less about power and control and more about awareness and acceptance. Mindfulness, according to Christopher Germer (2005) has three parts:
2. Of present Experience
3. With acceptance
Although this definition separates these three components, they are intertwined within the full experience of mindfulness. Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk and peace activist, described mindfulness as “keeping one’s consciousness alive to the present reality,” other definitions for mindfulness is that of “a moment –by-moment awareness” that “keeps consciousness alive to the present reality” without judgment (Germer, 2005, p. 6).
I recently read about this study conducted by Dr. Sunjeev Kamboj, at the University College London in the United Kingdom, which provides evidence that people who drink alcohol heavily, when asked to practice mindfulness, drank less over the course of a week. Those who were asked to use relaxation techniques did not cut down their drinking. Below I have provided a link to more information about this study. How can mindfulness help you?
Here is the link: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319120.php
David Johns has a PhD in Counseling Education and Supervision. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) in the state of Colorado. He works with clients who want to cut down their drinking and drugging. For an appointment call 303-642-6636 or email at [email protected]
Germer, C. K. (2005). Mindfulness: What is it? What does it matter? In C. K. Germer, R. D. Siegel, & P. R Fulton (Eds.), Mindfulness and psychotherapy. (pp. 3-27). New York: The Guilford Press.