What is Mindfulness?
'Mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, which one develops through the practice of meditation and through other training.' - Wikipedia
'Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally,' Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness is experiential so the definitions above may not mean much to you until you have learned what it can do for you.
Mindfulness became more mainstream when MRI scans proved it created positive changes in the brain after 8 weeks of practice however, its benefits have been known for hundreds of years prior to this.
While formal meditation practice forms part of mindfulness, it is only one component of a bigger tool kit. Mindfulness helps you to tune into clues your body, thoughts and feelings give off to you while they are small and more manageable so that you can more easily step in and make a conscious choice instead of more automatically or impulsively. So ultimately it gives you more control over your thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
Noticing your internal reactions is the first skill you will learn, but just as importantly you will also learn HOW to meet what you notice. This includes acceptance and self kindness, skills that help to free up energy and lay a good foundation for you to make changes you previously felt were impossible for you to make.
Taking stress as an example, if you notice you are stressed after you have exploded and snapped at everybody in your path, it is harder to come back from than if you have learned to notice those first little signs inside. If you notice stress when it is small, you can thin ask yourself what you need in that moment. To breathe, some water, support, to take a step back. The same principle works too for states of anxiety, impulsive behaviour, and ruminating into a depressive state.
Noticing which nervous system you are operating from and knowing how to shift between them can help you to switch off at bed time, connect with others, problem solve and avoid heightening stress reactions. There is a strong overlap between this aspect of mindfulness and Polyvagal Theory (Stephen Porges, 1994).
You do not need to be an expert on the body to notice where you are and what you need in order to start using conscious choice over habitual reactions but you do need to practice it, like any skill. This course gives you 8 weeks of information, support and chances to practice while being supported with whatever comes up for you.
I trained and qualified with Breathworks who are renowned for their work with chronic pain and stress.
Any questions? Please feel free to text or call for an informal chat.