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Practice Mindfulness - Tips And Exercises For Beginners And Advanced

mindfulness for breast cancer patients

The conscious turn to the here and now helps women with breast cancer and those who have survived the therapy to deal with fears and stress. The body psychotherapist Renate Kommert tells us how to train mindfulness.


Concentrating on the present, consciously perceiving your own feelings and thoughts, and without evaluating them - that is precisely mindfulness. "Mindfulness is like a muscle," explains Renate Kommert, body psychotherapist and MBSR teacher at the Mammazentrum Hamburg: "The longer we train him, the stronger he gets” (Mindfulness-based stress reduction), the participants get to know different techniques with which they can continue to work after the end of the course. But also for women who do not attend a mindfulness course, Renate Kommert has a few tips on how to train this "muscle" and use it for yourself.


For beginners

"The first step to practice mindfulness is to consciously concentrate on the here and now and to be aware of the surroundings and yourself," says the MBSR teacher. 

Two examples:

1. Watch your breath.
Perceive your breath as it is - regardless of whether it is calm and steady or "rattling" something when climbing stairs. Why does this help us? "Our breath," explains Kommert, "can be a kind of 'return muscle'." If we ponder or are afraid, the focus on raising and lowering the chest or abdominal wall helps us to get back into the moment.

2. Perceive your surroundings with all your senses.
What do I see when shopping? What do I hear when I walk through the park? How does the coffee smell in my hand? "Concentrating on the light that falls through the window or the pebbles that crunch under my shoes is a conscious turn to the moment," reports the body therapist, "and helps us not to get lost in fears."


 mindfulness for breast cancer patients
  • Renate Kommertis an alternative practitioner and body psychotherapist in Hamburg. She also works as an MBSR lecturer and supervisor. Renate Kommert has been working in her own practice for 30 years. Her focus: meditation, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and body psychotherapy - in individual work and in groups.


    For advanced

    If you manage to concentrate on the here and now in everyday life and get involved with your surroundings and yourself, you can turn to your feelings - not only the pleasant but also the unpleasant.

    1. Allow fear and pain.
    What am I afraid of? What hurts me? How do you feel this fear and pain? Where and how do I feel them in the body? "The more we investigate our difficult feelings," explains MBSR teacher Kommert, "the more distance we gain from them." That means we stop dealing with our fears and worries identify and recapture our ability to act.

    2. Accept your fears and pain.
    The more often we consciously look at our unpleasant emotions and understand where they come from, the easier it is for us to accept them. "Once we have accepted our fears," Renate Kommert knows, "they become quieter over time."

    Note: You can find courses on the subject of mindfulness and further information on the homepage of the MBSR-MBCT association. There are also numerous books on the subject.

    • "Mindfulness - Decision for a New Way" by Alois Friedrich Burkhard and Juliane Stern, Schattauer, 2015

    •  "Mindfulness for Beginners" by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Arbor Verlag, 2013

    Foto: Jayme Burrows/Stocksy