What is Mindfulness?
Updated: Jun 15
It is a simple yet powerful practice of being in the moment. A Mindfulness practice is about training your mind to bring its attention to what is happening in the here and now. Noticing what thoughts, emotions and sensations may be present but doing so in a non-judgemental way. Also to not to become lost in them. As Rebecca Crane says:
"When we open to our awareness, we are discovering a new way to 'hold' &
befriend our experience."
The Application of Mindfulness
Is to be able to apply Mindfulness in any part of your life and not just when you are taking time to do a Mindful practice.
A Mindful Practice
It’s find a quiet place for a short time everyday if you can. To practice the various techniques which include the 3 step breath; body scan; and Meditation.
How it can Help?
Reports from those who have a regular mindfulness practice, suggest that it is an effective treatment for stress, worry, and focus with a positive impact of other parts of their lives. There is Research certainly to support this, and also the positive impact it can have on those with recurring depression.
As part of your therapy, I may bring in the ideas and techniques of Mindfulness. Something we can do in a session, and for you to practice in-between. If you are particularly interested in having this as part of your therapy with me then do let me know.
Roots of Mindfulness
Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism. In particular, at the turn of the 20th Century Buddhist teachers in Burma started to make Buddhism, Meditation and also Mindfulness more accessible to the general population: taking out many of the technical and teaching aspects. These practices spread to India, where in the 60’s and 70’s Westerns encountered it and realised it potential.
It was Jon Kabat-Zinn who took it into Western Medicine (the Buddhist framework taken out) with the development of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programme (MBSR). Here in the UK, Mindfulness has been moved forward by Professor Mark Williams who in this YouTube clip speaks about it. The eight-week MBSR course has techniques from yoga & Buddhist meditation to develop relaxation & bodily awareness. Participants are encouraged to develop a regular mindfulness practice. There is also Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) which along with MBSR techniques includes those from CBT. It is also an eight-weeks course, similar I contact to MBSR but its focus is the exploration of unpleasant memories & thoughts. It's aim being to disrupt negative thought patterns, so they do not arouse difficult emotions. Research has show that it effective against relapse of those who have experienced recurrent episodes of depression.