What is Mindfulness?

What is ‘mindfulness’ and how can it help?

Mindfulness is often defined as ‘paying attention on purpose moment by moment without judging, (Full Catastrophe Living, – Jon Kabat-Zinn). This means developing the ability to pay deliberate attention to our experience from moment to moment. We learn to tune in to what is going on in our mind and body day to day without judging our experience.

Become more aware…

Becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings and sensations may not sound like an obviously helpful thing to do, however learning to do this in a way that suspends judgement and self- criticism can have surprising results. Many people report finding inner strengths and resources that help them make wiser decisions about their health and life in general.

Mindfulness can help…

Most of us find ourselves frequently ‘swept away’ by the current of thoughts and feelings, worries, pressures, responsibilities; wanting things to be different from how they are right now. This can be particularly powerful when we are faced with pain, difficulties and illness that confound our attempts to find a solution or to feel better. Feeling stuck in this way can be draining. Mindfulness can help us to work directly with the struggle we sometimes have in relating to lifes experience and in doing so can really improve the quality of our life.


What are mindfulness-based approaches?

Mindfulness-based approaches are intended to teach people practical skills that can help with physical and psychological health problems and ongoing life challenges.

Mindfulness-based approaches are an integration of ancient Buddhist practices and philosophy of mindfulness, with current psychological understanding and knowledge, they are taught in an entirely secular way, and have no religious context at all. Mindfulness-based approaches are intended to help in pragmatic, practical ways, the approaches facilitate us in realising and accessing our existing inner understanding. Mindfulness is taught through meditation skills which include bringing attention to the breath and the body during stillness and movement.

“The UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recently endorsed MBCT as an effective treatment for prevention of relapse. Research has shown that people who have been clinically depressed 3 or more times (sometimes over twenty years or more) find that taking the programme and learning these skills helps to reduce considerably their chances that depression will return. The evidence from two randomized clinical trials of MBCT indicates that it reduces rates of relapse by 50% among patients who suffer from recurrent depression.” (Ma and Teasdale, 2004., Teasdale et al 2000).

Hugh teaches a combined version of Mindfulness based Practice. Mindfulness Based Approaches have also been used to treat or to augment or support the treatment of: addiction, cancer, eating disorders, chronic pain, anxiety, suicide, borderline personality disorder, relationship enhancement in couples and many other areas. There are mindfulness-based interventions at all levels of education, for parents, for carers, mindfulness in buisness, mindful leadership… the list continues to grow exponentially.

Extensive research into 8-week MBSR and/or MBCT courses has shown that developing mindfulness has a significant positive effect on:

developing greater self awareness
increasing ability to manage stress
physical and psychological health,
reducing anxiety and depression,
reducing tension, anger and fatigue,
enhancing relationships,
increasing vitality
aiding better sleep
developing stronger immunity

Hugh has trained as a Mindfulness teacher and offers workshops, sessions or programmes in Mindfulness for groups, buisnesses or schools. Feel free to contact me.