Caregiving is a trigger minefield. The awareness we cultivate through mindfulness helps us avoid the triggers and disarm the mines. This is challenging because we have more than 6,000 thoughts in a single day! How many of those 6,000 thoughts do you imagine are positive? Negative? Repetitive? When we are mindful, we can be present and avoid the stress we experience when we ruminate on the past or worry about the future. Most of us didn’t plan to be in the caregiving role, and our plans may have been put on hold. Along with the worries about our family member and their health and well-being, we are often worried about our well-being and our future.
What is Caregiver Mindfulness
For our purposes, mindfulness is a tool that allows us to gain control over the worries, those 6000 thoughts, by focusing on the present. When we practice being in a state of consciousness where we are present and aware of our thoughts, body, and emotions, we train our mind to release the worry about the past or future. When we are present and focused on the task at hand, our mind is not wandering and anxiously trying to solve the unsolvable. With practice, we can use this hyper-sensitive state of awareness to recognize when we shift from focusing on the present to ruminating on the thoughts that fuel the turbulent emotions. Consistent mindfulness practice cultivates awareness. The word cultivate is perfect in this context. It means we are growing this skill, this ability.
Find out how to cultivate mindfulness at www.homecarehospicenetwork.com