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Photo of a serene outdoor setting with a person meditating by a calm lake, with overlay text_ 'Transform Your Life with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Transform Your Life with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy – Here’s How It Works

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Content Roadmap

What is Mindfulness

Mindfulness stretches back 1000 years and has its roots in Buddhism, Hinduism, Hasidic, and other various religious and secular traditions, it is also found in non-religious meditation in yoga. The explosion of mindfulness across Western civilisations has taken the practice in a more non-religious direction.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a form of psychotherapy that combines the practices of Mindfulness with Cognitive therapy. The therapy is based on the idea that mood disorders can be maintained by negative thought patterns and automatic reactions to stressors. MBCT aims to interrupt these patterns by helping people develop a more mindful awareness of their thoughts and feelings. By becoming more aware of these patterns, individuals can learn to recognise and respond to negative thoughts and emotions in a more constructive way.

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally

Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Integration of Cognitive Therapy in MBCT

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) integrates traditional cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approaches with mindfulness strategies. CBT is built on the principle that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are interconnected and that changing negative thought patterns can lead to changes in feelings and behaviours. When combined with mindfulness practices, the individual learns not only to identify and challenge these negative thought patterns but also to observe them without judgment, allowing for a more holistic approach to mental well-being.

Photo collage of a peaceful nature scene, a meditating person, and a brain, emphasizing the connection between mindfulness practices and cognitive

The Role of Meditation in MBCT

Meditation is a central tool in mindfulness practices. In MBCT, structured meditations are introduced to participants, guiding them to focus on their breath, body sensations, or even sounds. Over time, this practice helps to cultivate a state of awareness where individuals can observe their thoughts and feelings without becoming entangled in them. This observational stance allows for a distancing effect, reducing the intensity of negative emotions and making them more manageable.

Paying attention in a particular way

The modern world brings with it a lot of distractions in all sorts of disguises, from social engagements, work commitments, and electronic gadgets from phones to TV sets to social media, other commitments, other engagements, some expected and some unexpected. Back in the day when the factory whistle blew you were quite literally detached from that place of work, granted you may have taken with you the stresses and strains of the workplace, but you were not going home and plugging into the stresses and strains of the rest of the planet.

As our lives get more complex and filled with ever-increasing information live stream, the humble human goes more and more on autopilot. This mode of operation is akin to being physically present somewhere but not emotionally. Here is a test to prove this out, think of a time before you began work or college and compare that to when you were committed to work or college. On paper, the only difference is one has a number of committed hours outside of the house and one does not. Unfortunately, if we could detach and act like robots this would be life personified. The day you start the job, the college course, or any other significant undertaking is the day that your 24-hour clock is altered. Even if you run the company and enjoy the work and the challenges, the impact on your being, if left unchecked can be quite considerable from a mental health perspective.

So what has this to do with paying attention? It is the beginning of a process to ground yourself back to some level of grounded reality. Instead of floating on autopilot with your calculating mind firing on all cylinders day in and day out, you are for the moment paying attention, and paying attention in a particular way.

A Mindfulness walk

The sun is shining, and we take mindfulness to walk through the meadow. We begin by noticing the shade and the cut of the grass, the cracks in the mud, the wood rings in the aged fence posts, and the twists of the metal barbs fence, as we walk we smell the scent in the air and the swirl of the wind against our faces. For this walk our goal is to pay attention, and to notice every detail that comes into mind, using the scene that is underfoot to play out like the highest resolution cartoon movie.

By reconnecting with these moments in life, by beginning to live the moment, at that moment, until the next moment appears. It becomes possible to rediscover our sense of peace and enjoyment. As we perfect this mindset, we may begin to feel once again, truly enchanted with life.

Benefits Beyond Anxiety Management

While MBCT is often heralded for its effectiveness in preventing depressive relapses and managing anxiety, its benefits extend beyond these areas. Regular practice can enhance general well-being, improve concentration, and boost empathy and compassion. Additionally, by fostering a non-judgmental awareness, individuals often report improved relationships, as they become more adept at responding rather than reacting to situations.

Tailoring MBCT to Individual Needs

Although the foundation of MBCT is consistent, it can be tailored to suit individual needs. A skilled therapist can integrate other therapeutic techniques or modify practices to cater to specific challenges faced by the individual. This flexibility ensures that the therapy remains relevant and effective.

A Lifelong Practice

Mindfulness, at its core, is a lifelong practice. While an MBCT program might have a set duration, the skills and insights gained can be carried forward indefinitely. Regular mindfulness practice, even post-therapy, can ensure that the benefits are sustained and continue to grow. Many individuals find that setting aside dedicated time for mindfulness daily, even if it’s just a few minutes, can make a significant difference in their overall mental well-being.

Mindfulness is not to be confused as a medicine cure

Mindfulness is not however a medicine that may cure you of all your challenges and woes, but what it will do is change our views and perspectives on the troubles within and open new pathways of possibility. Moving from just being and struggling back towards adventure and living. You don’t live for the pain in the shoulder, you live and you do have a pain in the shoulder. You enjoy a dinner out with the family without mental distraction but you also have a job next week.

Thoughts that can change our reality

Practicing mindfulness over the long term, research shows can have the positive effect of changing our biochemistry, in ways of altering the production of chemicals that affect our moods. Some studies have also identified changes to the brain in those who are devoted mindfulness practitioners, one of the famous names that spring to mind is the MRI tests carried out on the Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard.

Disclaimer, Please Read: The information provided in this article is for illustrative and informational purposes only. It does not establish a therapist-patient relationship. For medical issues or emergencies, always consult with a licensed medical professional. For non-clinical challenges related to stress, anxiety, and other emotional or behavioural concerns, considering a consultation with a therapist may be beneficial. Bohangar City Practice is a registered Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy practice, specialising in combining cognitive behavioural techniques with hypnosis to address various challenges and promote well-being. Any questions, please do reach out

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Photo of a serene outdoor setting with a person meditating by a calm lake, with overlay text_ 'Transform Your Life with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Transform Your Life with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy – Here’s How It Works

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a form of psychotherapy that combines the practices of Mindfulness with Cognitive therapy. The therapy is based on the idea that mood disorders can be maintained by negative thought patterns and automatic reactions to stressors. MBCT aims to interrupt these patterns by helping people develop a more mindful awareness of their thoughts and feelings.

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MULTI-MODAL THERAPY: Cognitive, Behavioural, Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness, etc.

THERAPIST: Former City Analyst, City of London, Singapore, Zurich, and Frankfurt. 

If you are seeking Therapy please reach out for an initial free consultation call. Bohangar Hypnotherapy Practice. Hope you enjoy this blog post, would love to hear your comments  

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