What is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is not something that you have `to get` or acquire. It is already deep within you – a deep internal resource available and patiently waiting to be reawakened and used in the service of learning, growing, and healing”. (Centre for Mindfulness, Massachussetts).
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
- Recurrent depression
- Chronic pain
- Chronic Fatigue, fibromyalgia, psoriasis
- Other conditions such as eating disorders, hypertension, headaches etc
For further details of current research studies into Mindfulness based Approaches
‘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.