The first step is to open your mind to accept and understand that all humans suffer and this suffering is a part of living - while at the same time realising the change that MBCT can bring to you. The insights and exercises can really reduce your suffering. They help you let go of useless thinking and encourage you to focus on each individual moment in detail so that you will experience gladness and gratitude for those precious moments. When going through this journey you will discover that MBCT provides you with the tools to help you become a more aware person. One of the hardest challenges you can come across in life is to develop an understanding of your oown issues from an objective point of view, so that you can begin to help yourself. This task is the first step of the mindfulness practice - you should remember though, that it isn't necessary to be able to clearly define what is wrong, as long as you are aware that there is something wrong so with time you can make changes to your mindset. To get motivated and apply real changes in your life, you need to develop a strong desire to overcome and control the things that are holding you back from growing and being happy.
People often attach themselves to particular hopes and dreams, and tend to believe that if only these things would come true they would live happily ever after. The truth though, is that as soon as you have achieved what you want, your mind tends to find something else or starts worrying that you will lose everything that you have achieved. You need to think about what needs to change in your life for you to feel happy and content with your life now, rather than a dreaming of a better future.
Often making a real change in your life requires several attempts.
Getting motivated, particularly when you are having a bad time, is extremely challenging. Mindfulness is all about moment by moment awareness training, moment by moment letting go of unhelpful thinking patterns and moment by moment allowing change to enter your life. Allow yourself the time to make positive change, try to let go of being angry at yourself and others, when things go wrong or not as well as you hope. So, for now, prepare to embrace the idea of stepping out of old patterns and try experimenting with living your life totally differently.
Developing an understanding of yourself
The movement towards mindfulness starts with taking time to get to know yourseslf better; not just things that you know, or what others think of you, but listening to yourself and see the real you. You can get to know yourself in many ways: Go for a walk, be observant of the things around you that attract your attention. Read a book, listen to music, watch a movie and see what attracts you. These are just a couple of suggestions, what else could you do to discover yourself?
What are your personal thought patterns Note down how you think about things (your usual train of thought in certain situations). Doing this exercise helps you see more clearly how certain thinking patterns grab to into being sad, angry or desperate. Are your first thoughts positive or negative. Don't make judgement, you are just searching for patterns and connections at this time.
Getting ready for the challenges ahead When you decide to make a change in your life, such as taking up regular mindfulness practices, making yourself aware that things may not go smoothly is a good idea. Some days you will feel great and other days you will feel down in the dumps, but don't give up, this process does require a certain amount of discipline. Changing your mental patterns requires persistence, trust in the process, patience with yourself and determination. Always remember you are in control, go as slowly as you like and go with the flow.
Facing your fears Sometimes, truly seeing yourself and feeling deeply can cause you to experience upheaval and denial, because you must confront your fears and negative thought patterns. Coping with them can be difficult and painful but ultimately you will understand that what you feel from the past has gone, what you are currently feeling will pass and the future will take care of itself. Think about the fears that you are holding onto, ask yourself what are they based on, why this particular fear has surfaced at this moment and whether you can put it behind you as it isn't valid in your life today.
The importance of continual practice Making mindfulness part of your everyday life doesn't just happen. You need to practice MBCT exercises and techniques everyday. Of course noone is perfect in everyway so you will forget to practice or not get around to it or be too tired, too busy or just apathetic, but you need to remember that you are trying to redevelop your way of living for the better. Mindfulness practice is just like any other skill you acquire "practice. practice, practice".
Looking forward to long-term balance The ultimate aim of your mindfulness practice is to find balance and purpose in your life. In a balanced life, you have time for working and looking after yourself and those you love. learning and growing as a human being simply the joy of being alive following your dreams relaxing and rebalancing search for your deeper purpose
Living in the moment Being in the moment means connecting totally to what your experiencing here and now, be it good, bad or blah, because all experiences can show you something about yourself and the life you are leading. Regular mindfulness practice gives you a greater understanding of the concept of living in the moment. Mindfulness and awareness help you to come to terms with and accept the things in life that aren't so wonderful. Acceptance doesn't mean being a doormat for other people to trample on, simply that you are giving yourself the time to understand and process what is happening. When you accept what is, you can decide mindfully what action to take, if any.
Reducing Suffering MCBT can always help you to reduce your suffering. When you understand where your mental and physical pain is coming from, and why you are experiencing it, you can develop coping mechanisms and find ways of dealing with it more effectively.
Being your own best friend When you practice mindfulness regularly, you start to feel the authority and responsibility to be good to yourself, to understand yourself deeply and to rely on yourself, by being your own best friend. Trusting yourself fully is a gift that MBCT can assist you in achieving.
Putting Mindfulness into Practice.
The important point to note when practicing mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is to practice regularly.