Mindfulness

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.

Jon-Kabat Zinn, Wherever you go, there you (1994)

Mindfulness is a way of being present, moment by moment, with openness, acceptance and curiosity. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to what is happening to you, moment by moment. It helps us bring awareness to our sensations, feelings, thoughts and actions without judgement.

We cultivate a sense of curiosity, exploration, kindness and basic friendliness to whatever we experience.

Mindfulness enables us to live more fully in the present rather  dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. As soon as we notice the mind moved to the past or the future, we bring it back with gentleness and firmness to an experience in the present moment, such as the feeling of breath or the body. Along with wonderful, creative things, the nature of the thinking mind also creates unnecessary striving, wasting energy that could be employed in healing, problem solving or fully enjoying life.

Mindfulness is a life skill that helps us take charge of our own wellbeing. In practicing mindfulness, we trust turning towards and not away from our life challenges, whether that is stress, pain, illness or the demands of everyday life, making friends with ourselves in the process.

The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) courses are grounded in the wisdom of the Buddhist meditative tradition and backed up by rigorous scientific research.

Key proven benefits of mindfulness include:

  • Increased ability to act effectively under high levels of stress
  • Reduced levels of pain, anxiety and depression
  • Improved relationship to self and others and increased self confidence.
  • Learn to distance yourself from your thoughts and calm your mind
  • Become less judgmental of yourself and others
  • Develop self-acceptance and self-compassion

For further research into the clinical and health benefits of  mindfulness,  click here

The UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence, (NICE), see (http://www.nice.org.uk/) has recommended Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for treatment of recurrent depression since 2004.

Recommended Reading

Full Catastrophe Living: How to Cope with Stress, Pain and Illness Using Mindfulness Meditation – Jon Kabat Zinn

Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World (Includes Free CD with Guided Meditations) – Mark Williams, Danny Penman

The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (Includes Guided Meditation Practices CD) – Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, Jon Kabat-Zinn