Mindfulness – for better balance, peace and happiness
Having more awareness in our present moments enables us to reduce and manage stress, decreasing physical symptoms such as pain, high blood pressure and high heart rates.
Mindfulness by its very definition, according to Jon Kabat-Zinn Ph.D is “Moment by moment, non-judgmental awareness, cultivated by paying attention”.
This is the intention of practice, to bring the whole of your awareness in to the present moment simply by paying attention and if possible, without judgement. On this course we explore and practice techniques that help you do this, guiding your experience to a more mindful lifestyle and enhanced well-being.
Benefits of mindfulness and meditation
|Physical health||Psychological wellbeing|
Decreased stress, anxiety and depression
Research has found that a Mindful approach to difficult situations can reduce neural reactivity and alter the neural response when exposed to upset, suggesting that mindfulness meditation allows people to regulate their emotional experience and process this differently in the brain. Further research reports lesser anxiety and depressive symptoms in participants exposed to Mindfulness programmes and a decrease in total mood disturbance including stress and fatigue. Additionally it’s been reported that Mindfulness based therapy reduces the severity of current depression, even preventing relapse.
Among evidence that Mindfulness based therapy is beneficial in both physical and mental health of patients with chronic back pain, it has also been reported that the effects were longer lasting than other treatment methods. This suggests that Mindfulness based therapy is effective in offering clients a longer lasting skill-set in pain management.
In hand with reducing stress and anxiety, there’s evidence that Mindfulness training can cultivate emotional intelligence and social connectedness while further studies report improvements in focus, self-regulation and immunoreactivity, overall offering participants an enhanced sense of wellbeing.
We may sometimes notice that we’re rushing through one activity so we can move straight on to the next, consistently chasing the next step. Much of this we do in an automatic mind-set, without really thinking about or experiencing what we’re doing in the moment. When we do stop our brains have a tendency to still be buzzing, remembering things we’d meant to do or are yet to do. Our focus is so often in the past or future, not in the present.
It’s possible that this over-stimulation can lead to stress, anxiety and depression. Our bodies may become tense, we can find ourselves emotionally charged or experiencing mood swings.
Through mindfulness and meditation practice we learn to re-connect with our minds and bodies. With practice we become familiar with our minds thought patterns and with sensations in the body. When we understand what is happening in our minds and bodies, we are then able to encourage some body states and mental patterns, for example physically eliciting relaxation.
With this understanding and awareness we not only reduce stress but are better able to manage it when it inevitably does develop in the body. This in hand increases our state of relaxation, lowering physical symptoms of stress and unease and enhancing our sense of health and well-being.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is to bring our entire awareness in to the present moment, without judgment. This means not simply thinking about the moment but to be in it, experiencing it fully.
This intention is simple but the practice itself can be challenging. Having become so accustomed to living without awareness we may be unfamiliar with our own mind and body. With continual practice though we do become familiar with our mind and body, understanding them more which in itself offers us a sense of ease.
In addition this allows us to choose responses to our internal and external environment instead of impulsively reacting to them, improving our health, well-being and relationship with our external environment.
In this course, run by Mindfulness trainer Hayley Johnson, we explore and practice techniques to re-connect with the body, bring awareness to mental states and bring a wholesome awareness to daily activities. This course is experiential so every journey is entirely unique and dependent on your practice. The intention is to guide your journey through the course offering the skills to elicit relaxation, recognise and manage stress and introduce mindful awareness in to your lifestyle.
The course runs over six weeks, attending one small class per week and practising daily in between. We provide a guidance course book and guided MP3’s for your practice at home. Contact Sundial, Queens Road to sign up for the next course.
Fees: £70 (incl. course book and MP3’s)
- M. Davis PH.D. et al. 2012
- G2 interview, R. Booth, 2017
- D.C. Cherkin. PH.D. et al, 2016
- P.Pluck, SMART manual, 2017
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