What is Mindfulness?
- Mindfulness offers us a way of seeing and being with our experiences, as it is in the moment, without judgement or criticism.
- It helps us connect more fully with the day to day activities in life that we so often do on ‘automatic pilot’ ( mindlessly, therefore missing out on the simple pleasures and wonders that those moments can bring)
- Mindfulness teaches and invites us to deal with life’s challenges and difficulties in a different way
- Through mindfulness we are cultivating acceptance which means simply that we are allowing the space for whatever is going on
- It enhances the quality of our lives by helping us to create space to see the generosity and wonder of life unfolding with us being fully present in each moment.
- It’s about being yourself and accepting this with kindness and gentleness.
The mindfulness skills that are taught on an eight week course have been shown to be highly effective in reducing stress and enhancing personal well-being.
People who have completed the courses report that as a result of the course they:
- discovered new and practical ways of managing their stress
- are able to handle their thoughts, moods and emotions more effectively
- access positive emotional states more regularly
- are making wiser choices and responding better to life’s challenges
- are less likely to get stuck in a rut and experience that spiral into exhaustion, stress, anxiety and depression
- have discovered how to take better care of themselves and consequently others
‘Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way on purpose in the present moment and non- judgementally’
- Jon kabat Zinn
MBSR, one of the most widely used mindfulness training programs, has been reported to produce positive effects on psychological well-being and to ameliorate symptoms of a number of disorders.
The medical community have come to see the value of mindfulness in treating anxiety, depression, addiction, pain and stress. Clinical trials have shown mindfulness helps people sleep better, helps them cope with chronic pain and even high blood pressure.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends mindfulness as a frontline treatment for relapsing depression.
Evidence-based research also shows MBSR has significant benefits in areas such as post-operative recovery and pain management in hospital.
The benefits of mindfulness meditation aren’t only there for people with physical or emotional issues, however. In everyday life, mindfulness is a way of training your mind to live in the present, of becoming deeply attuned to the world around you.
Mindfulness meditation is not a miracle cure, but its long-lasting benefits have been shown to profoundly enhance and uplift our daily lives.