September 1


Focusing: A Step Beyond Mindfulness Meditation

By Peter Julian

Mindfulness is everywhere. It’s a process that involves focusing on the present in a non-judgmental manner. A concern with mindfulness, however, is it seems to downgrade the value of emotions. An alternative process, called Focusing, spends more time listening to emotions. It was developed by psychologist Eugene Gendlin, who wrote a best-selling book about it in 1982. Focusing, and something called Inner Relationship Focusing, contends that all our inner states have a good reason for existing. Focusing involves sitting in silence and noticing what you are feeling, but then not doing anything about it. Just notice and accept. Inside you, “felt shifts” may happen that present a new understanding as to what is going on inside you.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment in an accepting, non-judgmental manner.
  • Developed by a psychologist in the 1970s, focusing became a popular self-help approach worldwide.
  • Focusing involves sitting quietly, noticing what you feel, but not doing anything other than accepting it.

“Innumerable studies suggest that practicing mindfulness can make you physically and psychologically healthier.”

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