Mindfulness is the powerful practice of being present and living in the moment. It is a conscious decision to be aware of or bring attention to this moment in time with curiosity and without judgement.
Thanks to its wonderful health benefits, ease of practice and positive impact on participants life's Mindfulness is increasing in popularity and has received a lot of press recently. It is recommended by the department of health and also by the National Institute for clinical excellence.
What are the benefits of practising mindfulness?
People who regularly implement mindfulness into their life's may find many physical and mental health benefits such as:
- Feeling less stressed and experiencing more moments of calm and relaxation.
- Increased energy and enthusiasm for life.
- More self acceptance and confidence with yourself , Just the way you are.
- Less at risk of experiencing depression, anxiety, chronic pain, addiction and stress.
- More compassion for yourself and others
- Feeling more connected and balanced within relationships.
Who should practice Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is for everyone and all ages. There is a lot of information online and support groups in your local community. No special equipment is required and most of the practices are done in a seated, still position so people with reduced mobility or health problems can really get involved and benefit. The application of mindfulness can be applied to most situations such as parenting training, treatment of mental health, in schools and as part of well-being therapies. It is even used in treating the immune system. Some of the bigger companies and top sports teams include mindfulness within their training and day to day life's to manage stress and increase productivity.
How to get started with mindfulness?
Technically you don't need any special equipment or anything extra to begin practicing mindfulness. You could start this very second just as you are. By drawing your attention to what is happening at this very moment, sights, sounds feelings, smells and acknowledging them all, just as they are and without judging them or trying to change them is in essence what mindfulness is. Not trying to change the past or worrying about the future. But the reality is our minds are not so simple and mindfulness can take practice. It would be useful to start with a book about mindfulness, a mindfulness app on your phone with guided exercises or a local mindfulness course. All these three resources will arm you with practices and techniques to try and quieten your mind, accept what is, focus on your breathing and various other specific lessons to help you on your chosen journey. Reading about mindfulness is motivating but the only way to live mindfully and reap all the health and mental benefits is to practice mindfulness regularly.
What does the NHS say about Mindfulness?
Trying something new can be a bit scary and it is very common to feel a bit sceptical of something you have no experience of. I have included a link to the NHS's information page about mindfulness here.
Take the NHS Mood Self Assessment quiz now
Online mindfulness courses recommended by the NHS.
What Books can I buy to help me start practicing Mindfulness?