What is …. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an outlook or mind-set, it is how we view and interpret the world around us. Mindfulness helps us create a purposeful, present, calm, emotionally-aware, non-judgmental mind-set.

Mindfulness was born out of Buddhism and the mind of John Kabat-Zinn. Buddhism seeks enlightenment, or deep understanding of the world and ourselves using focus on the body, breathing and meditation (this is a very brief description of the complexities of Buddhism and I highly recommend you explore it further if you are interested). Mindfulness is based on the idea of acceptance, inner-peace and wisdom.

When asked about the difference of Meditation and Mindfulness I often say Meditation in Buddhism is about a clear and free mind, whereas Mindfulness is about control of thoughts and emotions within the mind (again let me stress I am simplifying a complex subject for a basic blog exploration).

Mindfulness can offer a greater insight into ourselves, and our clarity of experience. It can improve problem solving as it helps us slow down and investigate our thoughts and responses. It helps improve concentration and reaction as our minds are less cluttered. It allows us better acceptance of ourselves and events, often leading to improved enjoyment as we are able to focus more on positives than negatives thus making us less self-critical.

 A key part to Mindfulness is often our imaginations and the power they hold to help calm and focus us. To be compassionate and grateful with ourselves and others.

The three key concepts of Mindfulness are: awareness (of self, emotions, thoughts and other people), non-judgment (of self and others) and being present in the now (not the memories of past or the worries of future).

There are many parts to Mindfulness, including mindful meditation, transcendental meditation, music meditation, guided meditation, group mindfulness, waking or doing meditation,

Mindfulness can help with a number of things including: anxiety, depression, OCD, panic attacks, addiction.

One key idea in Mindfulness you might like to try is this brief emotion flow:

Notice – how do you feel?

Name – Name the emotion/s.

Accept – accept the emotion, the cause etc, don’t try to fight it.

Investigate – what affect is it having on your body/thoughts?

Allow and release – notice thoughts, release judgement, breath and be in the now.

If you would like support with Mindfulness, or other mental health issues or you’d like video, telephone or face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds at laura@wrightminds.co.uk or on 07598810304