What Is Mindfulness?
In a nutshell, mindfulness means paying attention to what you are doing as you are doing it. This includes all day-to-day activities such as walking, eating, making a phone call, etc.
We all tend to go into auto-pilot and not pay attention to what we are doing. Developing a more mindful attitude means intentionally paying attention to your present moment experience in a particular, mindful way.
Mindfulness means paying attention to your present moment experience with curiosity, openness and acceptance.
Many people come to mindfulness to feel calmer and more relaxed. While mindfulness often results in feeling more relaxed, its true aim is to develop awareness and approach experience with kindness, curiosity and acceptance.
While mindfulness has been shown to help alleviate anxiety and depression, it isn’t about trying to get rid of uncomfortable thoughts or feelings. Rather, mindfulness offers the possibility of learning to approach inner and outer experiences differently by developing:
- A healthier stance toward challenging thoughts and emotions
- Being more relaxed, you now have a coping strategy for almost any situation.
- A better understanding of yourself. By doing so, you recognise that you and whatever you are experiencing are separate.
- A more relaxed and healthier body
Being mindful is something we all do, just to different extents.
You can develop and deepen mindfulness through mindfulness meditations. This type of meditation exercise is not about clearing your mind of everything; rather, it is about choosing where to focus your attention to raise your awareness of your experiences.
If you would like to add some mindfulness to your life, try to:
- Keep it short and sweet
You don’t need to set aside hours in your day to practice mindfulness. You can approach any day to day activity with a more mindful stance by making a point of focusing on whatever it is you are doing in a different way. You can also just take a few minutes out of your busy day to practice short meditations.
- Practice every day
By practicing mindfulness every day, you strengthen your mind’s ability to be more aware and awake. Like most new things, the more you practice, the better you get at this.
- There is no right or wrong way
Be gentle with yourself and try letting go of any ideas that you’re practicing mindfulness right or wrong. There is no right way and what matters is that you become more aware of what is going on for you.
- There is no end goal
Mindfulness is not about where you end up, it’s about how you are while on the road.
We have partnered with Silvercloud to offer you free access to a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) self-help programme, designed by clinical experts using proven methods for helping people, all with the aim of empowering you to think and feel better.
This programme is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
CBT consists of two key steps to feeling well:
- Understanding what’s going on inside you
- Making changes to feel better
The key idea behind CBT is that your emotions, thoughts, behaviours and physical sensations are connected, and affect each other.
Simply choose your programme on SilverCloud. When prompted to sign up, you will need an access code to enable you to create your account and use this resource. The access code is kwnelselfhelp