So what is mindfulness and how can it help me?

Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzz word as of late, recommended in many aspects of improving wellbeing, increasing resilience and protecting against stress and even the NHS now prescribe an 8 week Mindfulness programme here in the UK.  But what is this mystery concept? Many of you reading this might be like myself, I’d heard mediation was an effective approach to being more focused and reducing stress in my life. So I thought let’s give this a go…

I sat there and closed my eyes and tried to clear my mind, could I clear my mind? Every time I tried to think of nothing something would always pop in… It was frustrating and I almost gave up. Then through studying Positive Psychology with the Langley Group, we started and ended each day of the course with a guided mindfulness session. What I started to learn is that Mindfulness as the word suggests is not about having an empty mind but it’s about having thoughts, emotions and feelings (ultimately everything that makes us human) and by having an awareness of those things that’s where the session starts to work. Each time I was faced with a thought I brought my attention back to my breathing or the feel of my body on the chair, it is not the clearing of your mind that is mindfulness practice but the fullness of the mind and how aware you are of every thought, feeling or sensation of the body. It is called Mindfulness practice because it is a practice, you need to commit to it (like most things) to get results. It is not easy but over time you will start to feel the benefits. I personally have used a mindfulness app to train myself in the practice of mindfulness, I also took part in a mindfulness summit for a month online which was amazing. I have found myself feeling calmer in situations and my anxiety levels are definitely a lot lower than they used to be. Whether this is because I am focused on it more or because mindfulness practice is changing my brain who knows?! But I’m certainly going to continue! What do you think? Have you had any experience with Mindfulness? Do you feel it could help you?


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