What Is Mindfulness?
Originally developed in Massachussets Medical Centre in the US, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has gained prominence in the world medical community as an effective and systematic approach to the growing problem of stress and anxiety. In the UK it has also been developed in the form ofMindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) to specifically assist people who have suffered from repeated episodes of depression. Mindfulness based approaches have been recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) due to the growing body of scientific evidence that supports their effectiveness.
MBSR & MBCT are based on the principle that we all have times in life when we experience stress, pain, unwelcome feelings and altering moods. While this is an unavoidable part of life, some people cope very well while others find themselves overwhelmed. MBSR/MBCT are designed to help people learn new ways of handling these challenges. It is possible to be stressed while maintaining balance, to be in pain while maintaining peace and to experience difficult feelings while remaining centred.
How Will It Affect Me?
This approach can significantly change the way we relate to stress and difficulty, and is taught in a supportive group environment. This can greatly enhance our capacity to cope on a daily basis. By developing more awareness, we can learn to deal more effectively with life’s inevitable difficulties as well as taking more pleasure in the good things in life.
The core skill that we teach is ‘mindfulness’ – a way of paying attention, on purpose and non-judgementally, to what goes on in the present moment in your body, mind, and the world around you.
Mindfulness can enable you to see things differently, undoing the mental and physical knots and tensions we all accumulate. It can increase your sense of mental clarity and help you feel that you have more options and space, giving you greater strength to face challenges in your life.
Most people attending MBSR/MBCT programmes report that they gain lasting benefits, such as:
- More energy and enthusiasm
- A greater capacity for relaxation and sleep
- Quieter, more calm and focussed mind
- More self-confidence
- An increased ability to handle stressful situations