What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is about noticing patterns of thinking and feeling. Rather than trying to ‘fix’ them or go with them, mindfulness helps us to come back to the present.

“On purpose,

in the present moment,

and non-judgmentally”

                                    Jon Kabat-Zinn

Founder of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Clinic in 1979 to help patients alleviate pain.

Auto-pilot

Have you noticed yourself doing something without being aware of what you are doing?  An example of this would be driving a familiar route and not remembering going through the lights. Or eating a biscuit, and then looking for it, not recalling finishing it. We are not “in the present moment” and can be miles away without realising.  Whilst on auto-pilot, old habits of thinking can be triggered which are unhelpful, leading to a worsening mood which then leads to unhelpful behaviours.

How can Mindfulness help?

Mindfulness practice focusses on staying in the present, being with our thoughts, feelings and emotions and also with physical sensations.  With practice we can learn to ‘allow’ our thoughts . . . . then let them go, rather than dwelling on them. It also helps us to ‘be’ in the here-and-now rather than focussing on the distraction of ‘doing’.

How to use Mindfulness?

Your therapist may start with a simple breathing exercise for you to practice between sessions on a daily basis, using your breath as an anchor.  Many people find this a helpful exercise especially when dealing with stressful situations.

Contact either Robin or Nicky if you have any further questions.