Mindfulness

Mindfulness skills help us to unhook from re-living the past or pre-living the future and to actually live in the present.  Mindfulness is not an end in itself, but a way of becoming more aware of the here and now, so that we can make wise choices regarding our wellbeing and relationships with others, rather than simply (over)reacting on autopilot to things inside and around us.   It teaches how to be better with difficult things and how to take better care of ourselves.

Do you ever find yourself reliving the past or worrying about the future? Critically comparing yourself to ideals and reviewing progress towards your goals, resulting in you constantly ‘doing’?  This is just your mind trying to help you out, to seek out and avoid potential threats primed by evolution to keep you safe.  Sometimes though we can get overly caught up in this propaganda and ironically can start to lose touch with the present moment and who and what is really important to us.  Mindfulness offers us a different perspective on what our mind and body are telling us. Through practicing anchoring our attention, we can start to observe our thoughts as mental events (ideas, interpretations, judgements) and not take them as literal facts (they are not you, you are having them).  Seen like this, we are more able to put these thoughts into context, to make space for them without being a slave to them, which gives us the flexibility and freedom to start to choose how we want to respond. This clip from the US cartoon Steven Universe explains this in a more catchy way!

It has been proven that regular mindfulness practice can promote wellbeing and self-compassion, increase cognitive skills (e.g. problem solving and decision making), increase emotional skills (e.g. empathy) and increase resilience.  Research has also demonstrated how regular mindfulness practice can reduce stress, anxiety and depression and reduce burnout and sickness absence.  Because of the wide-ranging benefits it is recommended in healthcare, education and criminal justice settings and within the general workplace.  To read more about this then please explore this link to Mindful Nation UK: Report by the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group (2015).

Mindfulness skills can be developed through individual or group sessions, please contact me or come along to a taster session to discover more.  If you are interested in joining an 8-week mindfulness course, please check out the Groups page.

Children looking at nature idyllic summer wilderness forest trail panorama

Be Mindful not Mindfull, see with childlike wonder and curiosity!