We all know that the way we think, and how we deal with our thoughts, plays a big part in our happiness, resilience and mental health. Mindfulness is firstly about awareness and the ability to live in the present moment. Meditation is one of the ways in which we can learn to be mindful. In a therapeutic / developmental sense, mindfulness is a mind-body based, psychosensory approach that can help people change the way they think and feel about their experiences, especially stressful experiences and situations.
Mindfulness is about developing ways to stay more in the present moment, and spending less time and energy focused on the future or the past. To quote John Kabat-Zinn “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Through mindfulness we begin to see our feelings and thoughts in a different way, and so come to have a new attitude and approach which is non-judgemental, and which breaks the destructive cycles of thoughts and actions which can detract from our well-being. Mindfulness, as an approach, can be helpful for those coping with depression, stress, addiction and pain management, but it is useful not only for those with specific health problems, but can be used by anyone to help them live life to the full.
Will a mindfulness approach be useful to you?
Do you feel `on automatic pilot` – surviving, rather than fully living each moment of life?
Do you give yourself the kindness and care you extend so genuinely to others?
Do you feel `driven` – like a hamster in a wheel, overwhelmed and never seemingly able to catch up.
Are you noticing patterns of habitual reactions, persistent preoccupations of thought, lowered mood, raised stress or anxiety.
Do you feel stuck?
There is a growing body of research into the benefits of Mindfulness as an approach in a number of conditions which include:
Low mood, depression
Stress, anxiety, panic
Energy and concentration
Emotional resilience and coping mechanisms
Chronic Fatigue, fibromyalgia, psoriasis
Other conditions such as eating disorders, hypertension, headaches etc
For further details of current research studies into Mindfulness based Approaches www.mindfulexperience.org/evidence-base.php ‘The evidence in support of MBSR is so strong that almost three-quarters of GPs think it would be beneficial for all patients to learn mindfulness meditation skills’. Be Mindful, Mental Health Foundation.