What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is an approach that can help us to relate differently to our experiences. It involves paying attention to our thoughts, feelings and body, and to the world around us in a way that increases our ability to manage in difficult situations and affords us more opportunities to make wise choices.
It is a skill that we can learn and further develop, that allows us to be present for what’s going on in our daily lives, to notice and to face our difficulties with kindness rather than avoiding them. It can help us to be more attentive, settle the mind, recognise and calm the criticism our minds often place us, and live in a more compassionate way which can benefit not only ourselves but those we encounter in our day to day lives. You can take steps to develop it in your own life.
Research indicates that over time, mindfulness can bring about long-term changes in mood and levels of happiness and well-being. As well as, positively affecting the brain's patterns which underlie day-to-day anxiety, stress, depression and irritability so that when they arise, they reduce more easily.
Mindfulness can be of huge benefit to everyone, young or old, from all walks of life. It is not a religion and is taught in a secular (non-religious) way, so it is suitable for people of any faith or no faith. It is not the same as counselling or therapy, and you will not be asked to share any information about your day to day life or situation.
And no, you do not have to sit crossed legged on a cushion – although you can if you wish!