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mindfulness toronto

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a practice whose roots are found in Buddhism; however, it remains a secular practice and is foundational for learning how to be present, or ‘in the moment’, which allows us to recognize and enjoy the positive in our lives and manage the difficulties with more resilience.

Mindfulness is a way of living life more fully. With practice, mindfulness can help us rewire our brain (neuroplasticity) towards more positive thoughts and emotions. When negative thoughts and difficult circumstances arise, as they inevitably do, we are better equipped to handle what is thrown our way. Moreover, when we are faced with difficult issues we are better equipped to respond rather than react.

How is using mindfulness helpful?

Being mindful allows us to fully engage in activities, discussions and relationships, as they are occurring, rather than checking out, into the future (anxiety) or the past (regret). Mindfulness is a practice that helps relieve stress, reduces anxiety and depression, improves sleep, and lowers blood pressure. As well as, providing an overall sense of wellbeing.

So often, we are in the future, worrying about the “what if’s” or stressing about the mound of things on our to do list (which is never-ending). Or, we are mired in the past ruminating about our missteps.

The opposite of mindfulness is mindlessness. Have you ever arrived at your destination with no clue how you got there because you were on auto pilot?

So often because of our swinging between the future and the past, we miss the present. We don’t show up for our own lives.

We are not taught in school how to train our minds. And so, the mind is like a wild horse running from thought to thought. Or attaching to our thoughts so strongly that we cannot distinguish between who we are and what we think. We are not what we think. We are not our thoughts. 

It easy to become our emotions and let them overwhelm our lives. Especially now with the anxiety around the global pandemic. Instead of allowing ourselves to feel the anxiety or sadness or fear in our bodies which enables us to then let them pass through, we put a story on our emotions and judge ourselves for feeling a certain way. We may get anxious about being anxious, or worry when the next panic attack will hit us.

Mindfulness Meditation in Toronto

Kim Tanzer, Registered Social Worker has extensively studied Mindfulness. She finds it a useful tool to incorporate into her therapy sessions. Learn about the art of being Mindful and Mindfulness Meditation at one of Kim’s upcoming workshops located at Ohana Wellness Clinic, in the west end of Toronto.

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