What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness practice has benefited people for more than 2,500 years.  Over the past 35 years, these methods which originated in the meditation traditions of the East, have been developed into training courses in the West by bringing them together with understandings from modern western psychology and discoveries in neuroscience.

These courses, commonly delivered over eight weeks, have since helped tens of thousands of people around the world relate differently to stress, chronic pain or illness, anxiety, addiction, depression and quite simply, the experience of being a human alive on the planet today. Mindfulness helps people get back in touch with their innate ability to meet experience with more awareness and kindness, enhancing personal well-being and sense of satisfaction with life.  

 

Mindfulness methods and these courses have and continue to be researched at a high level and there is a solid and growing evidence base demonstrating the effectiveness of mindfulness in these areas and beyond, resulting in mindfulness being recommended and applied in mental health, education, the criminal justice system and the work place.

So what’s it all about?

 

In essence, mindfulness is a training in how to simply be; relaxed but also aware, moment-by-moment within changing experience - whatever that might be - with a growing sense of embodied presence, acceptance, compassion and wisdom. This involves learning and practising a number of mindfulness meditation methods alongside innovative positive psychology techniques in a structured and sequenced way over a period of time.

 

Training in mindfulness slowly "re-wires" the brain as a more mindful way of being becomes integrated, benefiting the practitioner and others, naturally. It allows for more of life's moments to be fully lived with appreciation and gratitude by learning to let go of the busy, grasping mind, as well as reducing counterproductive reactions towards difficulties, therefore helping cultivate a more stable mind.

Training in Mindfulness also helps us recognise our mind's habits, slowly freeing us from patterns that do not serve, by letting them go or transforming them by acting in a way that is wiser, kinder or more creative for ourselves and others in the moment. We begin to realise that our reality is to a large extent an interpretation of events based on the mind's habits and our current mood. This realisation opens up more space, more possibility and more freedom in our experience for transformation, empowering the practitioner to be more of who they truly are.

Mindfulness allows us to see the gap between our awareness and the thoughts, emotions, sensations and impulses that arise within it, providing us with the choice to respond rather than react or perhaps realise that no response is necessary.  Instead we may choose to simply be, relaxing in awareness as our thoughts, emotions, sensations and impulses come and go like clouds in the sky-like nature of our mind. In this way our mind becomes more flexible and in turn more peaceful, as it begins to serve us rather than have us be the servants of our often wandering and frantic mind.

 

Mindfulness is a life-skill that anyone can benefit from connecting with and training in and the benefits permeate the life of the individual because we take ourself wherever we go: when on our own, in our relationships and in the work place.

 

Benefits of mindfulness

 

Mindfulness is a natural ability we all have but with practice over time we can strengthen that ability and draw out its many benefits including:

 

  • A deeper sense of connection with yourself

  • More self-awareness

  • Better self-care

  • Improved way of relating to your thoughts, feelings and sensations

  • Improved self-confidence

  • Improved relationships

  • Increased sense of appreciation and gratitude for life

  • Reduced stress levels

  • Reduced anxiety

  • Reduction in depressive relapse

  • Builds resilience for demanding and stressful situations

  • Increased feelings of well-being

  • Supports physical health

  • Helps with management of chronic pain

  • Improved ability to focus and concentrate

  • Increased creativity

  • Increased productivity

  • Better communication

  • Better decision making abilities

 

How can I help you?

I offer one-to-one and group 8 week mindfulness courses, as well as taster sessions, workshops and bespoke courses and training for organisations. If you have any questions at all, then please do get in touch here.