Friday, November 20, 2009

Peter Strong - Online Mindfulness Meditation Therapy for Stress Management

Peter Strong is a specialist in mindfulness based psychotherapy working in Boulder, CO. He is also one of the many bloggers writing at Psychology Today.

Online Mindfulness Meditation Therapy for Stress Management

Manage your emotional stress with Mindfulness Meditation Therapy Online

The single major cause of emotional suffering and stress in our lives comes from the accumulated habitual emotional reactions to life events that we acquire through unconscious learning. We become victims of recurrent negative thoughts and patterns of emotional reactivity that operate automatically in the mind, and that operate outside the sphere of conscious choice. We become prisoners of our habitual thinking and suffer accordingly. Therefore, it stands to reason that if we want to reduce our level of emotional stress and suffering, we must learn new strategies to counteract and neutralize our conditioned habitual reactivity, and regain freedom and choice in how to respond to the demands of life.

Mindfulness Meditation Therapy teaches you how to work with your habitual reactivity through a series of exercises designed to help you recognize reactivity and then defuse this reactivity through mindfulness. Mindfulness is empowering, restoring freedom and choice, while creating the right inner space that allows emotions to unfold and resolve at the core level. Mindfulness training stops you from being the victim of conditioned stress reactions, and puts you back in the driving seat, allowing you to control how you want to feel, rather than simply falling under the spell of your habitual reactivity. The approach is relatively easy to learn and can be communicated very well through email correspondence and webcam sessions.

It is 8am and you wake up after a difficult night's sleep only to discover that the alarm didn't go off. This makes you very agitated as you realize that you will be late for work and your boss told you off for being late only last week. You tumble out of bed and rush down stairs for breakfast. No coffee. You become flustered at the prospect of starting the day without coffee, and you lose your temper with your partner for forgetting to turn on the coffee maker. Then you feel guilty about being angry, and that weighs heavily on your mind as you climb into your car. The car won't start. Now you are furious, because you recently paid a lot of money to have the car serviced. Being late, you hit rush hour and have to deal with all the frustrations of slow traffic, which increases your stress level to boiling point. Things are made even worse when a car cuts in front of you, and you explode with anger and yell at the driver. The driver turns out to be an old lady, and you feel embarrassed and guilty for your inappropriate reactions. Eventually you make it to the office, but there is nowhere to park, since you are late and you become even more dejected. Exhausted, you finally make it to the office, sit down at your work and begin a day doing a job that you don't enjoy in an environment that you hate and with people who do not seem to appreciate how hard you try. The boss says he wants to see you and panic sets in.

Does this sound familiar?

For much of the time we live as slaves to the negative habitual emotional reactions of agitation, disappointment, frustration, anger, guilt, stress, anxiety and fear. The emotional suffering is not caused by being late or the difficult drive to work. These may be a source of pain, but are not sufficient to cause mental suffering. Suffering is always a product of the way we react to such events and these subjective reactions are something that we have learned unconsciously. As the saying goes,

"Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional."

Read the whole article.

Post a Comment