Mindfulness

Mindfulness is often defined as 'the awareness you have when you take a moment to be calm and pay attention to the present moment, taking things as they are'.

Mindfulness practices can have a profound effect on decreasing the symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, physical health concerns and stress.

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention, aiming to see clearly whatever is happening in our lives.  It will not eliminate life's pressures, but it can help us respond to them in a calmer manner. It helps us recognise and step away from habitual, often unconscious emotional and physiological reactions to everyday events. Practising mindfulness allows us to be fully present in our life and work, and improve our quality of life.

We offer group-based mindfulness therapy, made up of eight people, normally weekly, with sessions of two hours. Through this process attendees can develop how to be mindful and how to apply it to their daily lives.

What do we offer?

Introduction to mindfulness workshop

Mindfulness-based stress reduction
This group is aimed at people experiencing difficulties with long term physical health problems, persistent physical pain or anxiety. It's based on the work of John Kabat-Zinn, who introduced mindfulness approaches into modern physical and mental health care.

Mindfulness based cognitive therapy
This group is for people who have a history of recurrent depression and is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for individuals who have experienced three or more previous episodes of depression.

Resources

  • Breathing Space
  • Body Scan
  • Tips for sustaining a daily mindfulness practice (see below)

Five tips for sustaining a daily mindfulness practice

Taken from 'The Mindful Way Workbook' by J. Teasdale, M. Williams & Z. Segal

1. Do some practice, no matter how brief, every day
The "everydayness" of practice is hugely important as a way to keep mindfulness fresh and available, ready for you whenever you need it most, because you never know when that will be.

Internationally respected meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein recommends that his students sit down to meditate every day - even if only for ten seconds. Experience suggests that, most often, those ten seconds will be enough to encourage you to sit longer.

2. If at all possible, do the practice at the same time, in the same place, each day
That way mindfulness gets built into the very fabric of your daily routine. Then, just as with brushing your teeth, you don't have to ponder whether to do it or not - you do it because that's what you always do at that point in your routine.

3. See practice as a way to nourish yourself, rather than another thing on your 'to do' list
Remember that the practice won't always feel nourishing. As much as you can, let the practice be as it is, letting go of your ideas of how it should be or of regarding it as part of a project of self-improvement.

4. Explore ways to practice with other people
Practising regularly with others, in what is often called a 'sitting group' is one of the most powerful ways to keep your practice vital and alive. If you learned MBCT with a group, look out for opportunities for reunions and practice days. Everyone can benefit from finding a mindfulness 'buddy' with whom to practice and share experiences from time to time. Even if it's only one person, joining with others to practice and share experiences is hugely, and oftentimes surprisingly, supportive.

5. Remember, you can always begin again
The essence of mindfulness practice is letting go of the past and starting afresh in each new moment. In the same way, if you find that you haven't practised for a while, rather than criticising yourself or thinking  about why, just begin again, right there and then, by taking a three-minute breathing space.