MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
Mindfulness techniques, also called mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy (MBSR), are practices used to promote emotional and physical wellness. In MBSR, trained clinicians guide individuals through a variety of meditative exercises that are designed to ground the individual in the present and increase their awareness of their own emotions and physical experiences. Even when they are negative, these emotions and experiences are not to be pushed aside.
Individuals doing mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy learn to acknowledge these feelings without evaluation or judgment and to turn away from unhealthy or damaging thought patterns. Through this process, individuals with a range of mental health disorders can find relief from stress, anxiety, or other symptoms, helping promote physical, emotional, and mental wellness.
Benefits of Mindfulness
Mindfulness has been shown to have many benefits for individuals with a variety of mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression or personality disorders.
These benefits include the following:
- Increased self-awareness
- Greater ability to self-regulate feelings and control responses to emotional triggers
- Heightened capacity for managing stress, anxiety, fear and depression, as well as situation that may trigger those emotions
- Stronger sense of self-esteem
- Greater acceptance of and compassion for others, leading to improvement of interpersonal relationships
Mindfulness can be practiced in many different ways. One way is to focus on your breath. For example, you might notice the sensation of the air moving in and out of your lungs or the rise and fall of your abdomen as you breathe. You might also notice the thoughts that come into your mind as you focus on your breath. Just observe these thoughts without judging them as good or bad. If your mind starts to wander, simply bring your attention back to your breath.
Another way to practice mindfulness is through mindful eating. This involves paying attention to the taste, texture, smell, and appearance of your food as you eat it. Eating mindfully can help you appreciate the food you are eating more fully and can help you become more aware of when you are full.
MBSR has been shown to be effective in reducing stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, sleep disorders, gastrointestinal problems, and blood pressure. It has also been shown to improve immune function, energy levels, mood, focus, concentration, memory, decision-making, relationship satisfaction & work satisfaction.
At Solara Mental Health, mindfulness exercises are integrated into our comprehensive, multimodal treatment program. The experienced, highly trained clinicians at our mental health treatment center will work individually with each veteran, tailoring mindfulness exercises to their unique struggles and needs. For some veterans, this will mean practicing mindfulness during specialized individual therapy sessions; for some, it will mean meeting in group meditation classes; for others, it will mean a combination of the two.
Regardless of the exact method used, veterans who practice mindfulness at Solara will develop greater awareness of their emotions and physical sensations, learning to acknowledge and release them without negativity or judgment. As a result, veterans come to a healthier, more harmonious sense of self, helping them to find lasting healing from painful symptoms of mental health disorders, stronger self-esteem, and a healthier, more positive relationship with others and the world around them.
For more information about mindfulness, or about other treatments offered at Solara Mental Health, please contact us.
Solara’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Veterans
When people practice mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy, they learn to acknowledge these feelings without judging them or evaluating them, as well as turn away from unhealthy or damaging thoughts. Understanding each veteran’s specific diagnosis is crucial for the treatment, that’s why at Solara Mental Health San Diego our staff of professionals is ready to assist each patient accordingly through a personalized treatment plan.
Solara Mental Health is VA-contracted, which gives us the unique opportunity to help veterans with their mental health needs. As long as authorization is approved, we provide housing, transportation, and accommodations.