Mindfulness: bringing awareness
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Anthea Hollingworth LL.B (Hons) MSc Psy. MBACP (Accred.)
13th August, 20140 Comments
Mindfulness is a skill that focuses on developing a sense of being in the present and experiencing thought and action moment-by-moment. Thoughts and actions are observed in a non-judgmental way. Our thoughts take up most of our time as we are primarily in the past or future.
With mindfulness time seems to expand rather than diminish. It is a non-religious meditation which uses various systems and methods which encourage ‘one-pointed’ concentration or focus in everything we do in our daily life. Mindfulness makes meditation accessible to modern western urban life which brings its own particular stresses that can be tackled through specific techniques. These techniques can be incorporated into day-to-day life at home, in the office or on the move.
Definition: "Paying attention in a particular way in the present moment on purpose without judgement." By Jon Kabat Zinn
Mindfulness means paying close attention to whatever your experience is in this present moment. In our preoccupied minds we are often thinking of something else, making plans, worrying about the future or past. We switch on automatic pilot. We find ourselves having missed most of the essences of our everyday experience. It is the little things that count and these small pleasures that ordinary life bring us often drift by unnoticed by our busy troubled minds.
The practice of mindfulness brings awareness. Awareness brings choice to our decision-making and puts us in more control of our lives. Mindfulness techniques can break old habits that restrict us; enabling us to live life and accept ourselves just as we are. Such skills and techniques learnt from mindfulness and meditation are best achieved initially in a group setting.
A meditation and mindfulness course is intended for anyone - from complete beginners in meditation to professionals who would like to integrate mindfulness into their way of working. Commitment to your home practise is helpful if you wish to get the full benefits from mindfulness meditation. You will learn techniques and skills to help you to stay still and focused for short periods of time. Once you have practised these techniques you can develop your stillness and focus for longer periods to enhance your mindfulness meditation. You can also develop techniques to use in your everyday life as and when you wish - in work, family, relationships, colleagues, any and every moment of your life.
Mindfulness enhances emotion regulation, stress management, decision-making sensory processing, self-compassion and attention.
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