Mindfulness is a practice that individuals and groups can easily partake in daily. It can enable people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences, particularly stressful experiences. As a mind-body approach, it can increase our ability to manage difficult situations and make sensible choices.
Research has found that when people intentionally practice mindfulness they feel less stressed, anxious and depressed. There are also positive effects on several aspects of whole-person health, including the mind, the brain, the body, and behaviour, as well as a person’s relationships with others.
Mindfulness can be used as a tool to manage your wellbeing and mental health. With good mental health, you can:
- Make the most of your potential
- Cope with life
- Play a full part in your family, workplace, community and among friends
Mindfulness practices are not new and have origins in the contemplative traditions of Asia, especially Buddhism. In the last 40 years they have been formulised into the therapies of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), traditionally delivered in eight week classes.
More information about Mindfulness can be found on the NHS website. Mindfulness is regularly used within Counselling to help ground clients at the beginning or end of a session. I have been using aspects of Mindfulness for several years with very positive effects.