Mindfulness | Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Lessons from the monastery.

When we think of a monastery, most of us think of old Gothic buildings, drenched in silence and acts of attrition. Yet it was in a monastery the founders of ‘mindfulness‘ began to crack the code for a happier life. Not a western monastery (I hasten to add) but a Buddhist monastery.

Mindfulness is a blend of modern Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and the wisdom of the Buddhist faith; two seemingly separate disciplines combining to form a greater whole. As a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, I am a huge fan of Mindfulness and mix as many of the lessons I have learnt from it into what I do at my Cheltenham clinic.

Regarding the ideas of Mindfulness; I find the most important are being present (living in the present moment rather than the past or future), respecting yourself, respecting others, loving yourself (no giggling please), loving others and practising gratitude. Today I would like the focus on practising gratitude.

Practising gratitude is a simple as it sounds; learning to be grateful for what you have. Studies have shown those who practice gratitude (through daily prayer) are happier, better at dealing with stress and tend to live longer.  For those from a religious background, the practice of being grateful is probably already part of your daily routine (daily prayer) but for others there is distinct lack of such a routine.

The question then is can being grateful improve your experience of life even if you aren’t religiously inclined? And the answer is yes. Practicing gratitude has been shown to improve relationships, reduce stress and even help combat depression and anxiety. So take a little time in your day to be grateful for what you have and see how it affects your experience of the world. You could even do it whilst you brush your teeth or during the drive to work.

Other notions of gratitude include how we treat each other. Now I’m not asking anyone to throw themselves prostrate at the feet of there loved ones, but be mindful and remember to use a simple please and thank you.  As any stiff-upper-lipped Brit will tell you, there is always time to say please and thank you. Sadly, it is often the people we care most about who miss out on this basic social lubricant, so tell them thank you and you’ll be surprised just how good you feel.

If you are having trouble with depression, anxiety or stress, please consult your GP. If you would like to know more about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness or how The Hypnotherapy Works can help, then please get in touch using the contact page. We are be happy to provide a free initial consultation – as long as you say please…

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