Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an innate ability to be present in the moment and seize the day. Through mindfulness you learn how to regulate your awareness in order to focus on the things that are important to you.

Treatment with mindfulness

Scientific studies show that mindfulness can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression and increase the general physical and mental well-being. In connection with functional disorders, mindfulness is interesting because it can help the patient to turn the focus to the bodily signals. You can thus react in time before the symptoms develop into an actual disorder. Because of this, the clinic has over the last three years developed a mindfulness therapy programme for patients with severe functional disorders.

Our first conclusion in connection with this programme is that it can reduce pain and health anxiety, and the patients are willing to participate actively in improving their health as long as they learn the techniques how to.

Examples

First you train the ability to feel your body, which can enable you to regulate the stress level. Then you train observing the mind, i.e. thoughts and feelings, which can enable you to regulate feelings. Eventually you work towards a greater accept.

  • Meditation. When you meditate, you work with your awareness. You try to concentrate on your focus. If your awareness moves away, you move it back to your focus. When meditating, all thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations are allowed, you feel what you feel. If your head is filled with judgmental thoughts or if the body is filled with pain or unrest, then that is what you register. You are with yourself through restlessness, boredom, anxiety, pain, grief, joy, intense happiness, annoyance, anger or drowsiness.
  • Body Scan is a form of meditation which is a good starting point. You feel your body parts one by one. You don't try to change anything, but you feel what is there. This is a way of becoming comfortable with your own body. The point is not to relax, but merely to feel your body the way it is right now. Sometimes it calms you, sometimes it doesn't.
  • Mindfulness yoga. You concentrate on feeling your body with your breathing and your awareness. You learn to respect the body's limits and to relax your muscles. It is flexibility, balance and strength training all in one. You also try to check and accept thoughts and feelings, e.g. frustration caused by the body's incapability or one's tendency to put too much pressure on the body.
  • Sitting meditation. Focus is turned to various objects, e.g. your breathing, sounds, thoughts, the body, feelings and pain. Here you often discover what the mind is full of, who you are angry with or what your frustrations are. You learn something about your own thoughts and behavioural patterns and see the tendency to be judgmental of everything and everybody (including yourself). That is the nature of the mind. You learn to see the things in your mind as objects that come and go, and not as truths. You are not your thoughts or ideas, you are the one who experiences them.

Body scan, yoga and sitting meditation are examples of formal mindfulness practice. The point is that you use the same technique the rest of the day, i.e. that you repeatedly turn your focus back into the now with a friendly accepting attitude. This is called informal practice.

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Revised 04.01.2018