I’m sure at this point, you’ve heard the word mindfulness. I can describe what it means: a meditation practice where one learns to focus on their present experience. However, it is hard to explain how to practice mindfulness.
One way I learned to share with people how I like to do mindfulness is the pink elephant.
I challenge my clients to NOT think about a pink elephant for 30 seconds. You try it!
Many of my clients share that they have a hard time not thinking about the pink elephant. That’s because the brain does not operate in the negative. We can’t NOT think about something.
My clients who are successful in not thinking about the pink elephant share that they chose to think about something different. (Often times I hear they chose to think of a purple hippo!)
That’s the key to mindfulness. It’s about shifting out thoughts to thoughts that are more helpful in boosting our mental health and positive outlook.
Can you try changing your thoughts from the pink elephant to the purple hippo?
Written by: Kristina Zufall, M.Ed., LPC-Intern