Mindfulness as Prevention

Mindful awareness increases our ability to be aware our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. It helps us notice subtle changes in our moment-to-moment experience; for example, when we have been emotionally triggered by something within our environment or within ourselves. Perhaps we may become aware of a sudden increase in heart rate, an increase in muscle tension in our shoulders, or a subtle disturbance in our field of vision. This is important because noticing unexpected changes within our mind and body, however subtle, can alert us that to the fact that there may be something in need of our immediate attention.

When this happens, we may benefit from pausing and asking ourselves: “Have I been triggered?” or “What might be triggering me?” Noticing that you have been triggered, you might additionally ponder: “What can I do, now, to best take care of myself?”


Instead of avoiding the emotional discomfort of having been triggered by trying to escape, we might be better served by addressing the source of the problem; by deep breathing; calling a friend, or by scheduling an appointment to see our therapist. Mindfulness used in this way can enhance our ability to make better decisions about self-care over time, and prevent unnecessary health problems in our lives.

Written by Tony Madril

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