What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the art of staying
in the moment.
Accepting what is.
Because it is already
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
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.
Where does Mindfulness originate?
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?
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.
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
here in Bangor
by Professor Mark Williams et al (2002), working with people experiencing
depression. In particular Professor Williams
research suggests that people with chronic depression are most likely to
benefit from practising mindfulness meditation.Mindfulness
practise is also a componentpart
of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (Linehan
1993), a recognised treatment for people suffering from borderline personality
Mindfulness is for anyone who wants
to be fully aware, and improve their health and well being.
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.”
Nadine Stair, eighty five years old, Louisville Kentucky (1)
Other Mindfulness Pages
In Plain English
for the Soul
Get yer Mindfullness 'ere
Imscar Mindfulness Site
Jon Kabat-Zinn(1995) “Wherever you go there you are : Mindfulness Meditation
in Everyday Life” Hyperion Books.
Jon Kabat-Zinn (1990) “Full Catastrophe Living : Using the Wisdom of Your
Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness” Delacorte Pr.
Segal Z V, Williams J M, and Teasdale J D (2002) “Mindfulness-Based Cognitive
therapy for Depression” TheGuildford Press.
LinehanM (1993) “Cognitive Behavioural Treatment of Borderline Personality
Disorder” The Guildford Press.
Page Created 8th August 2002