Mindfulness and Personal Growth

zen mindfulness stones The awareness that arises out of mindfulness promotes personal growth and personal development in a number of ways. Mindfulness has a positive influence on your behaviours, your inner life, and your ability to get in touch with your values and what's important to you so you can build a more meaningful life.

Mindfulness and Behaviour: Mindfulness helps you break out of old habits and patterns of behaviour that may be holding you back, and allows you to choose to act in ways that are more effective in helping you reach your goals. It's easy to go through many things in life on autopilot, engaging in unhelpful, limiting or self-destructive behaviours out of habit. We often act in these ways without thinking, paying little attention to what we're actually doing at the time, and regretting it later or perhaps not acknowledging it at all.

When you are mindful, you become aware of your behaviours as they are happening, and even aware of your intention to do something before you begin to do it. This awareness gives you the chance to consciously choose how to behave, recognize when you are acting in ways that aren't helpful, break away from old habits and make deliberate changes in your behaviour that allow you to act more effectively in accordance to your values as you strive towards what's important to you.

Mindfulness and Your Inner Life: When you practice mindfulness, you create a special sort of relationship with your inner life that allows you to experience your internal processes more fully. Instead of trying to avoid or supress or escape from difficult and painful thoughts, emotions and physical sensations, mindfulness encourages a conscious awareness of all aspects of your inner self, and promotes a way of being with these difficult inner experiences without becoming overwhelmed.

This willingness to directly experience, rather than avoiding, what's difficult or unpleasant lets you engage more fully in life, instead of just trying to survive and get through everything with as little struggle as possible. When you practice mindfulness, you are better able to take on challenges and give yourself the opportunity to pursue things that are important to you even if it means getting out of your comfort zone, as mindfulness helps you relate to difficulties and discomfort in ways that make them manageable.

Mindfulness, Intuition and Inner Wisdom: We spend most of the time functioning from the rational part of our mind that is good at planning, judging, predicting, following rules, and making decisions based on logic. This mode of thinking helps us operate effectively in many aspects of our lives. But when it comes to things related to our inner life such as emotions, values, and finding fulfillment, a rational approach tends not to work and can leave us stuck thinking in circles, ruminating, and with our minds racing but never getting anywhere.

Mindfulness teaches us to slow down our minds, disrupt habitual patterns of thinking, and step back and approach things from different perspectives. When we quiet our minds in this way, we get in touch with our inner selves, allowing our intuition and inner wisdom to emerge. From this mindful, rather than logical, mode of being, we can reach deeper insight into ourselves and what's truly important to us, and use this wisdom to make decisions and find solutions that encourage personal growth and development and lead us towards more meaningful lives.


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© Guelph Therapist Greg Dorter
5 Cedar St Guelph ON N1G 1B9 Canada 226-500-4086
Mindfulness, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).