When does mindfulness become avoidance

Mindfulness in everyday life and as a therapy method

Mindfulness can be integrated into many areas of life, for example into everyday life. By being more mindful in everyday life, mental illnesses such as burnout can be prevented. The basic idea is to live in the here and now. To do this, it is important to fully relate to one thing. Resolving to be more mindful does not turn one into a mindful person. Mindfulness has to be integrated into everyday life in small steps. Small exercises can be integrated into everyday life in several places: Waiting times can be used sensibly, for example by paying attention to your breathing, your stance, your posture and your current feelings while waiting for the bus.

Frederike Höher (2011) recommends practicing mindfulness daily at a fixed point in time. Small sticky notes could help remind yourself of the exercises. Brushing your teeth every day seems to be an optimal time to practice mindfulness. You should plan twice as much time for careful brushing of your teeth. All movements are carried out more consciously and more slowly. That means taking the toothbrush to your mouth in peace, feeling the weight of the brush in your hand, tasting the toothpaste in your mouth and being aware of how the toothbrush feels in the oral cavity. It is advisable to close your eyes to prevent external disturbances. Should your thoughts wander, Höher recommends gently pulling them back. Above all, you should avoid putting pressure on yourself. Mindfulness needs time and patience.

Sources: Hinze, Friedrich D. (2011): Eight steps to mindfulness. A book to do and not to do. Goettingen
Friederike Höher (2011): Starting points for a mindful life, Dortmund:


Mindfulness as a Therapy Method

In the USA, in the 1970s, the best-known mindfulness training was developed, which is the basis for many other mindfulness-based therapies: "Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction", abbreviated to MBSR, by Prof. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. His goal was to prevent stress by giving his patients this training. He achieved positive results as the quality of life of his patients improved.

Mindfulness training has also been used in Germany since the 1990s. The MBSR mindfulness training takes eight weeks. The group meets for 2 ½ hours per week. The focus here is on body awareness. The exercises are expanded from week to week. While in the first sessions you only try to perceive your body and your breathing, the further sessions focus on paying attention to your own feelings, sensations and thoughts during these exercises. It is important that you practice regularly at home outside of group training. Through this mindfulness training, working people in particular who suffer from constant stress learn to deal with this pressure and to accept it. They learn to allow their thoughts and feelings to face them and finally to accept them.

www.hr-online.de/website/specials/wissen/index.jsp (no longer online)

Feldenkrais as a method of mindfulness:

There are now a number of methods and practices available for attentive encounter. Feldenkrais can be used as such. The founder is Moshé Feldenkrais (1904-1984). He has found that human thinking, feeling, perceiving and moving can never be found in isolation. Even with a knee injury, he finds out that movement is the best place to start to initiate change. According to his idea, man is able to educate himself. However, this cannot be done from the outside, but is guided by your own wishes and ideas.

Feldenkrais is a body-oriented learning method that is intended to show alternative movements. This makes you more aware of yourself and can bring about changes. It creates a new mobility for body and mind.


Group: Sabrina Baier, Franziska Gabler, Katrin Stöpler