Ep. 209: Dr. Mitch Abblett — More Peace and Less Anxiety by Mastering Each Moment of Your Life

My guest this week is Dr. Mitch Abblett. Mitch and I talked about how we can move through anxiety and stress by what he calls “owning the moment.” We explored what that means, how to do it, and maybe most important of all, how to remember to do it. The process itself is really simple—we just bring our attention to the present and let things be as they are. But as I’m sure you know, that’s much easier said than done. Mitch has some really helpful ways to practice more of this style of being in the moment. It involves something he calls “momentology,” which you’ll hear him explain. I really enjoyed this conversation, and toward the end Mitch led me through a short guided exercise that you can follow along with, too. I’m guessing you’ll like it as much as I did. Topics we got into included: What it means to be “mindful” Owning the moment Letting go of a fixation on stories and beliefs The value of coming into the moment when feeling stressed or anxious Using the breath to slow down and create space Engaged acceptance of not having control or possession of our kids How to help ourselves remember to come back to the present and release control The limitations of “hacks” to practice mindful presence The toxic anticipation of “nexting” Finding a resonance between ourselves and our experience, akin to jazz music How to commit to a consistent embrace of the moment Whether formal mindfulness practices are essential for developing a present focus A meditative practice based on the acronym “OWN” The present backlash against mindfulness and meditation Mitch Abblett, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, author, consultant and national/international speaker. His latest book is for parents, educators and helping professionals – Prizeworthy: How to Meaningfully Connect, Build Character, and Unlock the Potential of Every Child. His other publications include: The Five Hurdles to Happiness and the Mindful Path to Overcoming Them The Self-Compassion Deck, Growing Mindful , and other mindfulness-related card decks Helping Your Angry Teen From Anger to Action Train Your Mind Like a Ninja The Unwinding Anxiety Deck (with Dr. Judson Brewer) Mitch’s work has appeared in numerous online and print media such as Psychology Today, Mindful Magazine, The New York Times, Newsweek, Tricycle Magazine, and USA Today. His frequent blog posts regarding mindfulness applications in family and relationships can be found in Mindful Magazine’s companion website Mindful.org as well as on Psychology Today. A clinician in the Boston area for over 20 years, he brings a wealth of clinical, administrative and leadership experience from various settings (hospitals, outpatient clinics, residential facilities and therapeutic schools) to his practice and consulting. For 11 years he served as the Clinical Director of the Manville School at Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston – a Harvard Medical School-affiliated therapeutic school program for children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral and learning difficulties. He has also served as the Executive Director of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. Mitch lives with his wife and two children in Newton, Massachusetts.

Om Podcasten

The Think Act Be podcast features conversations about finding happiness, peace, and connection. Each week your host, psychologist Seth Gillihan, talks with his guests about effective ways to face life’s challenges: What thoughts serve us well? What actions promote well-being? How can we practice mindful presence? Guests from a wide range of backgrounds share their expertise on ways to nourish our minds, bodies, and spirits.