The Gift of Mindful Focus

The Gift of Mindful Focus

Designed to be impressive processors, our minds are constantly on the move, shifting, focusing, refocusing, considering, ruminating, planning, dreaming. And when life is hard or dark or scary, our minds do a fabulous job of cataloging all things that match our mood, or threaten our well being and survival, thus enhancing further our distress.

I have been in these deep, dark places. I have felt the chest crushing, mind overwhelming anxiety of threats and uncertainty. And I have been lost in the heavy, angry, energy sapping throws of depression. Recently, though, over the past two years or so, I have been on a journey of discovery with this thing called mindfulness. When I came across the concept of focus in regard to mindfulness, a whole new understanding began to dawn.

Unlike denial, where we ignore and bury our hard to hold realities, or superficial positivity, where we turn a blind eye to anything less than positive, mindful focus allows us to both note our hardship, note our pain, consider it with self compassion, and then purposefully turn our focus to our blessings, our opportunities, our resources, our faith, our social and family supports.

This act of focusing on what we have agency to change and what good is in our life is such a liberating practice! It literally shifts our physiological response to our world, calming our body, brightening our mind, lifting our spirits. While this process is definitely not an overnight kind of thing, it is a gift that with practice can profoundly support our ability to manage and overcome anxiety and depression.


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