Mindfulness is the art of staying in the moment.
Accepting what is.
Because it is already here.
us spend much of our time focused either on the past or on the future,
paying very little attention to what is happening in the present, this
means that for much of the time we may be unaware of much of our experience.
Mindfulness is the practise of staying in the moment, spending more time
present to ourselves, and our surroundings. Not trying to change things
but trying instead to accept the way that things are for better or for
Isn’t Mindfulness just another relaxation technique?
is not about learning to relax, it is a way of being, of remaining present,
and practising the art of observation. Much of the observation is focused
on the breath, observing your breathing without trying to change it.
Mindfulness is based on Buddhist philosophy, however it is not a religion, neither is any religious belief necessary to its practise. Mindfulness was initially developed by Jon KabatZinn (see recommended reading) to assist him in his work with people suffering from a wide range of medical problems, ranging from chronic pain to cancer and heart disease. The research carried out by him showed that most people experienced benefit from the programme, and were likely to continue with their practise in some form after the course ended. Research demonstrated that their overall quality of life, and for those with terminal illness their chance of remaining in remission was significantly improved (see references)
What do you actually do?
Jon KabatZinn developed an eight week course of mindfulness instruction involving meditation, some simple yoga and stretching, and some discussion within a group setting of the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy. The aim of the programme being to introduce participants to regular mindfulness practise, initially using audio tapes, and group contact time to guide them.
Is it useful for people with mental health problems?
Mindfulness programme has since been used with people suffering mental
health problems. Research using Mindfulness based C.B.T. has been conducted
Mindfulness is for anyone who wants to be fully aware, and improve their health and well being.
Mindfulness is not just useful for people with specific health problems, it can be used by anyone to improve their overall quality of life, and ability to live life to the full.
“Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.”