Mindfulness can be defined as “paying attention, on purpose, moment by moment, without judging” (Full Catastrophe Living – Jon Kabat-Zinn).
This is practiced through developing awareness of our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations, without self-judgement and criticism. Learning to tune in to what is going on in our mind and body, through engaging in regular meditation practice and awareness during day to day activities, can increase our resources to cope better with stress, difficulties and illness.
“A central theme of mindfulness practice is to let go of striving and trying to make things different to the way they are. Instead we are invited to be open to the full range of emotional states available to human beings. By learning to be open to and go towards difficulty, it becomes possible to cultivate new ways to respond to the unwanted.” Jody Mardula
Becoming attuned to the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us and understand ourselves better. In this way we can come to experience afresh things that we have been taking for granted.
It can help us to:
- Stay in touch with the present moment and our surroundings and be less caught up in negative thoughts.
- Deepen our awareness and respond more skilfully to events in our life.
- Reduce anxiety, depression and stress and maintain wellbeing.
- Cope better with pain and physical health difficulties.
How can I be more mindful?
Mindfulness is not only a kinder attitude towards ourselves, others and everyday life, it is a skill that requires practice. It can be helpful to set aside regular time for a formal mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness meditation can involve sitting silently and paying attention to thoughts, sounds, the sensations of breathing or parts of the body, and bringing our attention back whenever the mind starts to wander. Mindful movement and stretching can also enhance physical and mental wellbeing.
In addition to these more formal mindfulness practices we can bring mindful awareness into our daily life, to take moments when we pay attention to our breathing or our need for a pause. We may choose a daily activity such as taking a shower or listening to a work colleague and paying full attention.
Try the TalkPlus Mindfulness Audio Meditations
|Mindfulness – Breathing Space |
Mindfulness – Body Scan
Is mindfulness helpful for everyone?
Mindfulness isn’t the answer to everything, however there is now a large body of evidence for its benefits in health, education and workplaces. It is often combined with other approaches and therapies. In order to be effective, a person has to be comfortable with or willing to learn to be in touch with their experience and to practice the approach.
How does TalkPlus offer mindfulness?
Mindfulness may be part of individual therapy, including CBT or specific mindfulness-based therapies.
An online mindfulness course through BeMindful. This is self-guided and suits those who are motivated to progress on their own and at their own pace.
An 8-week Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy course for those who are recovering from depression, anxiety or are dealing with longer-term health conditions and pain. This is a closed group and aimed at those who want to develop their practice at a more consistent pace whilst experiencing the mutual support of other participants.
How to access?
Referrals can be made by your GP or through a self-referral. A telephone assessment will help establish which of the routes will be the most appropriate for you and whether a different or additional therapy approach would be more suited.
Where can I get more information?
- “Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World” by Mark Williams and Danny Penman and associated website http://franticworld.com/
- “Practical Mindfulness – A step-by-step guide” by Ken A. Verni
- “Living Well with Pain & Illness – Using mindfulness to free yourself from suffering” by Vidyamala Burch
|Jon Kabat-Zinn: “What is Mindfulness?”|
|TED talk by Andy Puddicombe: “All it takes is 10 Mindful minutes”|
- Oxford Mindfulness Centre
- The Free Mindfulness Project http://www.freemindfulness.org/
- Headspace – a broad range of meditations for everyday life
- Calm – including meditations and stories for improved sleep