Here at Unique home care, we believe that mindfulness is an important part of providing care. We encourage all of our practitioners to include mindfulness in their daily routines. This is an important tenet of providing quality care. Here are the reasons we think mindfulness is important for caregivers and patients.
What is Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of letting your thoughts occur without judgment. In mindfulness, you mediate by drawing focus to your breath. Instead of trying to clear your mind and shaming yourself for failing to do so, you let your thoughts pass like cars driving along a road. You acknowledge them, but do not fixate on them or attempt to analyze them. Mindfulness is the process of learning that thoughts are natural, and you do not have control over them. You do not judge as thoughts pass in your mind. Instead, you recognize that thoughts occur, and it is how you act on your thoughts, not what thoughts you have, that demonstrates who you are.
You are Not Your Thoughts
Mindfulness teaches us that thoughts happen. Good and bad, thoughts do not dictate who we are. This is an important lesson for anyone providing care for a loved one to remember. It is natural for caregivers to become exhausted, stressed, and strained. These emotions sometimes can bring out negative thoughts. Mindfulness reminds the caregiver that these thoughts are not indicative of the care they provide or their dedication to the patient. Providing care, especially for an ailing loved one, is draining in every sense. This principle of mindfulness provides caregivers with patience and sympathy for themselves and their thoughts.
Mindfulness Teaches Acceptance
Mindfulness helps those confronted with difficult decisions and situations process the information around them. Mindfulness requires patience and dedication to learn. This commitment is a lesson in and of itself. These skills that mindfulness reinforces are important both for caregivers and patients.
Mindfulness and Health
People who practice mindfulness are less likely to suffer from neurological diseases and mental health issues. When considering end of life care, dementia diagnosis, and other serious topics, depression and depressive symptoms are particularly common. This increase in depression is also common for those who provide care for ailing loved ones, were recently diagnosed with serious health complications, or had a loved one receive such a diagnosis. In all of these instances, mindfulness is an important tool in the mental health toolbox.
Mindfulness is also thought to help prevent and/or slow the effects of mental deterioration. Meditation is a useful tool that can help someone dealing with the early stages of a neurodegenerative disease potentially slow the effects.
When dealing with health, there is no one panacea. Unfortunately, these issues are complex and require a multifaceted approach. Mindfulness, however, can be a powerful and useful tool to combat and cope with difficult scenarios.