Monday, 7 September 2015

Mindfulness is everywhere

You can't step into a bookshop at the moment without coming face to face with a myriad of mindfulness books. From colouring books for adults and children to self-help books and even a mindfulness diet book, mindfulness is the answer to everything, it seems. So what is mindfulness and does it work?

Is mindfulness a new thing?

Although mindfulness may seem, at first glance, to be the latest fad, it has actually been around for hundred of years. It has its roots in Eastern meditation practices and was first introduced into modern health care by Jon Zabat-Zinn.

How does mindfulness work?

The practice of mindfulness trains the mind to focus on the present moment: our breath, the cool breeze on our skin, the warmth of the sun, the sound of the birds...

In the hectic world in which we live, it can be hard not to get bogged down by the constant 'internal chatter' of our minds. We may travel from A to B without even noticing anything about our journey because we are so focused on our thoughts. Our minds are thinking and creating all the time and mindfulness teaches us to become more aware of ourselves and our surroundings rather than residing in our minds.

There are many exercises and techniques you can use to practise mindfulness and many tools you can use to focus your mind on the present moment. It sounds simple, but it is actually quite a skill to allow your thoughts to flow freely in and out of your mind, but not to engage with them.

With practice mindfulness has been shown to improve wellbeing, reduce stress and make us happier.
That is because no matter what has happened in the past or what we are working towards achieving, happiness resides in the present.

Mindfulness research

Recent research carried out by the University of Oxford showed participants to have reduced levels of anxiety, depression and stress following a mindfulness course. There have also been other studies suggesting beneficial effects on school children and young people.

Mindfulness courses

First Psychology is holding a number of courses and workshops on mindfulness this autumn / winter. Find out how mindfulness can help reduce your stress levels and improve your overall wellbeing. For further details or to book a place, please click the links below:

An Introduction To Mindfulness (6 Week Course) >
starting Glasgow Monday 19 October 2015
starting Edinburgh Friday 6 Novemeber 2015

Mindfulness For Hectic Lives  - (A Short Workshop For Busy People) >
Inverness: 17 November 2015
Aberdeen: 19 November 2015
Dundee: 1 December 2015
Borders: 8 December 2015

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