Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to benefit our health, wellbeing and happiness. Issues it can help with include;
Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Resilience, Creativity, Relationships, Pain Reduction, Health and Wellbeing, Mood, Concentration, Sleep, Confidence/ Self Esteem, Memory.
Mindfulness is an ancient practice which has its roots in Buddhist meditation but has profound relevance for our present everyday lives. Its essence is universal and of deep practical benefit to everyone. It is the art of paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, without judgement, in the present moment. This kind of attention nurtures greater awareness, clarity and acceptance. Mindfulness is not a religion, it is simply a way to be more in touch with the fullness of your being through a process of self- observation, inquiry and action. Mindfulness training involves making a strong yet gentle commitment to engage with a variety of formal meditations and informal practices in the spirit of kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others.
“In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion, it is a serene encounter with reality.” Thich Nhat Hanh, 1999
Mindfulness helps us to us understand our mind. It teaches us to see things with pure open-hearted awareness, a place from which to witness our thoughts and feelings as they arise. It helps us to notice when our inner critic, whispers that, it’s ‘our fault’, we need to ‘be better’, ‘try harder’. Such self-attacking thoughts are incredibly powerful and can quickly get us caught into a vicious cycle that is incredibly difficult to stop. Similarly with our feelings, when we’re sad, anxious or angry it’s not so much our emotions that do the damage but rather how we react to them. Mindful awareness allows us to experience the world directly, unclouded by our thoughts, feelings and emotions. It gives us a vantage point from which we can see everything more clearly.
“Mindfulness allows us to see that our negative thoughts and emotions are just that, thoughts and emotions, not necessarily reality. They are therefore given less weight, they are ‘observed’, but not necessarily ‘believed’.” Kristin Neff, 2019
Our inner self, the part of us that is innately happy and at peace, is no longer drowned out by the noise of a mind fixated on problems. Mindfulness meditation encourages us to become more patient and compassionate towards ourselves and to cultivate open mindedness and persistence.
Mindfulness Now Training Programme
The Mindfulness Now programme offers an up to date fusion of the evidence based mindfulness programmes; Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). The former, developed by Dr Jon Kabat Zin for his Stress Reduction Clinic at Massachusetts University, provides an integration of mindfulness meditation with proven psychotherapeutic approaches. The latter, developed by Dr Mark Williams for Oxford University’s Mindfulness Centre offers a breakthrough in the treatment of clinical depression, anxiety and emotional trauma.