I have had the pleasure of hearing experiences from others this week that have reminded me that the experience of mindfulness is very individual. I tell people that being mindful is not about begin relaxed. This can be a wonderful effect of practicing mindfulness, but it is much more than that. When you practice being aware and tune in to your body, thoughts and emotions it can make your experiences clearer, more intense and if you are not told about this, these experiences can be a bit scarey.
You may be practicing mindfulness to help with anxiety and find yourself more anxious as your awareness of what anxiety feels like increases. You may realise that you have been placing yourself in potentially dangerous situations but because you have practiced deflecting and distraction you did not know you were at risk. Mindfulness can heighten pleasurable experiences, it can also heighten less pleasurable experiences - at least initially.
This is why awareness is always the first step to change, it is then followed by action.
* My aim is for these posts is meant to useful, interesting and/or inspiring. They are not designed to be used for therapy.. If you are experiencing stress please contact your GP or mental health professional.
Kim Ross is a Psychologist and Founder of Positive Young Minds and Essential Self-Care for Psychologists.