Single Moments That Can Change Your Life with Mindfulness

Single Moments That Can Change Your Life with Mindfulness

Do you know those single moments with Mindfulness that can change your life?

Try This 45 MIN GUIDED MINDFULNESS MEDITATION VIDEO

Well, in this video I’m going to share one of those with you that I had in my life as well as a follow-up question that someone asked me and that question definitely changed how I think I’m Barbara Heffernan and I’ve been helping people recover from anxiety and trauma for over 15 years the same.

In this video I’m going to talk about CBT and mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness and how they go together and the five main points of overlap in the techniques, which is why they work so well together.

And I’m also going to share with you a moment that changed my life and a question that changed my life. So cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness both strengthen the observer. Now the observer is the kind of like our wise mind.

It’s the part of our brain that observes our thoughts. It’s the part of our mind that observes ourselves. It’s like a meta cognition, the part of us that can think about our thoughts so we have our thoughts and they can be overwhelming and then we can step back and we can say, wow, there’s some patterns going on in there or those are some repetitive thoughts.

And this observer part of our mind is very important in both cognitive behavioral therapy and in mindfulness. Before I continue with the next four points of how mindfulness and CBT overlap and work together, I want to share with you that moment that changed my life.

Now, this was a long time ago and my oldest daughter was six months old at the time and I was in my first career, which was Wall Street and I was working like a maniac 80 hours a week, maybe a little bit more.

I was running at top speed all the time and I had this baby who I loved. I just, I had this enormous love like I’d never felt before for this baby and yet I was so stressed and so busy. I was having a hard time enjoying it.

And there was a moment where we were in the park and I lived in park slope in Brooklyn at the time. Shout out to anybody who’s in park slope in Brooklyn and we were at a playground and it was winter time, it was February and it was cold out.

There was nobody else at this playground. And I’m with my daughter who as I said, I just, I just enormously loved and she’s in the swing and I’m pushing her in the swing. Okay.

And my mind is racing and racing and my body is just pushing her on the swing and my mind is racing and racing with everything I have to do and everything I hadn’t done yet and work and personal life and just thoughts are just crazy, crazy, crazy.

And my body is just pushing her and there’s nobody to talk to. There’s nothing to distract me. And I know that if I take her out of the swing, she’s going to scream. And that moment of the difference between the speed at which my brain was going and the calm, rhythmic pushing of her on a swing.

It was such a painful moment. And The observer part of my brain was able to look at that and say, Barbara, you need to learn how to meditate. And at that time meditation was not as popular as it is today.

Not everybody was talking about mindfulness. I did do yoga occasionally, so I had some exposure to it. But somehow that moment of being still and quiet activated my observer to really look at what was going on and to come up with a solution.

And at that moment I determined I was going to take a class, learn how to meditate and learn how to slow down whatever was going on in here so that I could be fully present with the people I loved and I could be fully present with myself and that daughter of mine who is six months at the time, she’s turning 28 this summer.

And thank goodness for her because I have been meditating and having a mindfulness practice for 28 years, which has been a wonderful gift.

But before I continue with the rest of both my story, the question I was asked as well as the overlap between mindfulness and CBT, I’d like to ask you whether you have a mindfulness practice and if you do what practice you do and please drop it in the comments below.

I’d be very interested to see. Okay, back to the five points of how CBT and mindfulness overlap. Now, the second point of overlap between CBT and mindfulness is being nonjudgmental. So mindfulness is about observing and being in the moment in a nonjudgmental way.

And in cognitive behavioral therapy there also is a component of not being nonjudgmental. And if you’re working with the therapist, you definitely want to have a therapist that you feel you can trust and you feel they are not judging you.

And if you’re doing CBT on your own, bringing up that feeling of being able to be aware without being critical is very important. And with the attitude of being nonjudgmental is an attitude of curiosity.

So that would be point number three. So if you can activate the nonjudgmental observer part of your brain and bring curiosity to what you’re observing, you can have a feeling a little bit more of like, wow, there I go again, like I’m obsessing about the past again, or I’m ruminating about a conversation with friend again, like this is a habitual pattern of mine.

So that brings us to point number four where these two techniques overlap, which is habitual patterns, habitual patterns of thought and habitual patterns of behavior with cognitive behavioral therapy and a mindfulness practice.

These four things develop and using both of those techniques, they’ll develop even more quickly. And as your nonjudgmental observer develops and looks with curiosity at your habitual patterns, you will also be begin to more clearly see the lens through which you’ve been seeing the world.

And we all see the world through a lens that has been developed with our past experiences, our personalities, different things that have happened to us, different things. We’ve done different beliefs.

We’ve been taught all of these things. Sometimes cloud, sometimes just color the world and they become the lens through which we see the world. And seeing this lens more clearly helps you to begin to see yourself more clearly and the world more clearly, and that can lead to better decision making, better choices in life and overall a happier life.

Now the question that changed my life?

So after that moment in the park where I had that realization that I had to learn meditation, I did go take a meditation class. And during the first class, the person leading the class asked the question, what percentage of the time are your thoughts in the future? What percentage of the time are your thoughts in the past and what percentage of the time are your thoughts in the present? Because the only place we live is in our present.

So where are your thoughts? And at that time in my life, I was probably 85% in the future, 10% in the past, and about 5% in the present. Okay. And really engaging the observer part of my brain in a nonjudgmental way to observe what was happening with my thoughts and the fact that literally I was always in the future.

Whether it was anxious projections or planning or anticipating the next step, no matter what I was thinking about the future, I was not living in the present and it’s in the present where we experience joy.

It’s in the present where we have heart connections with other people. It’s in the present where we experience pleasure. So I challenge you to ask yourself and observe over the next week, what percentage of the time are your thoughts in the future, what percentage of the time are they in the past and what percentage of the time are they here right now? And engaging in a mindfulness practice is incredibly helpful way to develop this ability to stay in the present.

And there are many mindfulness practices. They include yoga, they include Tai-chi, Qi Gong, meditation, there’s all sorts of types of meditation. Other people really feel in the present when they are in nature or engaged in a sport that they love.

So allowing yourself more time to spend in mindfulness practices is a gift, a gift for yourself. If you have a super hard time staying in the present, you might be interested in a free mini series that I offer.

It’s called the “aah” mini-series, and there are guided visualizations and exercises that help you develop the capacity to feel safer and to feel more grounded, which is preparatory for beginning to be able to meditate and move forward with other mindful practices.

So the link for that is below. If you’re interested, if you’ve liked this video, please give me a thumbs up. Please let me know in the comments below if you found it helpful. And I look forward to the next time.

you know those single moments that can change your life well I’m going to share one of those with you that I had in my life as well as a follow-up question that someone asked me and that question definitely changed how I think

I’m going to talk about CBT and mindfulness cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness and how they go together and the five main points of overlap in the techniques which is why they work so well together and I’m also going to share with you a moment that changed my life and a question that changed my life so come in a behavioral therapy and mindfulness both strengthen the observer.

The Observer Within

Now the observer is the kind of like our wise mind it’s the part of our brain that observes our thoughts it’s the part of our mind that observes ourselves it’s like a metacognition a part of us that can think about our thoughts so we have our thoughts and they can be overwhelming and then we can step back and we can say wow there’s some patterns going on in there or those are some repetitive thoughts .

This observer part of our mind is very important in both cognitive behavioral therapy and in mindfulness before I continue with the next four points of how mindfulness and CBT overlap and work together.

I want to share with you that moment that changed my life now this was a long time ago and my oldest daughter was 6 months old at the time and I was in my first career which was Wall Street and I was working like a maniac 80 hours a week maybe a little bit more

I was running at top speed all the time and I had this baby who I loved I just I had this enormous love like I’d never felt before for this baby and yet I was so stressed and so busy I was having a hard time enjoying it and there was a moment where we were in the park and I lived in Park Slope in Brooklyn at the time shout-out to anybody who’s in Park Slope in Brooklyn and we were at a playground

It was wintertime it was February and it was cold out there was nobody else at this playground and I’m with my daughter who as I said I just I just enormous Lea loved and she’s in the swing and I’m pushing her in the swing and my mind is racing and racing and my body is just pushing her on the swing and my mind is racing and racing with everything

I have to do and everything I hadn’t done yet and work and personal life and just thoughts are just crazy crazy crazy and my body is just pushing her and there was a nobody to talk to there’s nothing to distract me and I know that if I take her out of the swing she’s going to scream and that moment of the difference between the speed at which my brain was going and the calm rhythmic pushing of her on a swing.

It was such a painful moment and the observer part of my brain was able to look at that and say Barbara you need to learn how to meditate and at that time meditation was not as popular as it is today not everybody was talking about mindfulness.

I did do yoga occasionally so I had some exposure to it but somehow that moment of being still and quiet activated my observer to really look at what was going on and to come up with a solution and at that moment.

I determined I was going to take a class learn how to meditate and learn how to slow down whatever was going on in here so that I could be fully present with the people I loved and I could be fully present with myself and that daughter of mine who was six months at the time she’s turning 28 this summer and thank goodness for her because I have been meditating and having a mindfulness practice for 28 years

Which has been a wonderful gift but before I continue with the rest of both my story the question I was asked as well as the overlap between mindfulness and CBT I’d like to ask you whether you have a mindfulness practice and if you do what practice you do and please drop it in the comments below I’d be very interested to see .

okay back to the five points of how CBT and mindfulness overlap now the second point of overlap between CBT and mindfulness is being non-judgmental so mindfulness is about observing and being in the moment in a non-judgmental way and in cognitive behavioral therapy there also is a component of not being non-judgmental and if you’re working with the therapist you definitely want to have a therapist that you feel you can trust and you feel they are not judging you

If you’re doing CBT on your own bringing up that feeling of being able to be aware without being critical is very important and with the attitude of being non-judgmental is an attitude of curiosity so that would be point number three so if you can activate the non-judgmental observer part of your brain and bring curiosity to what you’re observing you can have a feeling a little bit more of like wow there I go again like I’m obsessing about the past again or I’m ruminating about a conversation with a friend again like this is a bitchu apat urn of mine.

That brings us to point number four were these two techniques overlap which is habitual patterns habitual patterns of thought and habitual patterns of behavior with cognitive behavioral therapy and a mindfulness practice.

These four things develop and using both of those techniques they’ll develop even more quickly and as your non-judgmental observer develops and looks with curiosity at your habitual patterns you will also begin to more clearly see the lens through which you’ve been seeing the world and we all see the world through a lens that has been developed with our past experiences.

Our personalities different things that have happened to us different things we’ve done different beliefs we’ve been taught all of these things sometimes cloud sometimes just color the world and they become the lens through which we see the world .

Seeing this lens more clearly helps you to begin to see yourself more clearly and the world more clearly and that can lead to better decision-making better choices in life and overall a happier life now the question that changed my life so after that moment in the park where I had that realization that I had to learn meditation

I did go take a meditation class and during the first class the person leading the class asked the question what percentage of the time are your thoughts in the future what percentage of the time are your thoughts in the past and what percentage of the time are your thoughts in the present because the only place we live is in our present so where are your thoughts and at that time in my life I was probably 85% in the future 10% in the past and about 5% in the present.

Really engaging the observer part of my brain in a non-judgmental way to observe what was happening with my thoughts and the fact that literally I was always in the future whether it was anxious projections or planning or anticipating the next step no matter what

I was thinking about the future I was not living in the present and it’s in the present where we experience joy it’s in the present where we have heart connections with other people it’s in the present where we experience pleasure so I challenge you to ask yourself and observe over the next week what percentage of the time are your thoughts in the future what of the time are they in the past and what percentage of the time are they here right now.

Engaging in a mindfulness practice is an incredibly helpful way to develop this ability to stay in the present and there are many mindfulness practices they include:

Yoga Tai Chi Qi Gong meditation there are all sorts of types of meditation other people really feel in the present when they are in nature or engaged in a sport that they love so allowing yourself more time to spend in mindfulness practices is a gift for yourself if you have a super hard time staying in the present you might be interested in a free miniseries that I offer it’s called the miniseries and there are guided visualizations and exercises that help you develop the capacity to feel safer and to feel more grounded which is preparatory for beginning to be able to meditate and move forward with other mindfulness practices

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