‘Bitesize Mindfulness’ in 20 minutes. A guide for beginners
- a skill that can help you to relax
- a skill for health and well-being
- a skill to sooth and calm the mind
A skill that can be introduced in a few sessions and be with you for the rest of your life
Mindfulness, a meditation technique aimed at focusing the mind on the present moment, produces measurable improvements in symptoms of anxiety and depression, alleviate feelings of stress and enhance quality of life.
So what is mindfulness, and how does it work? Mindfulness aims to achieve a relaxed, non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts, feelings and sensations by direct knowing what is going on inside and outside us, moment by moment. In everyday life, mindfulness is about learning to direct our attention to our experience as it unfolds, rather than ‘living in our heads’. The challenge is that the pace and stress of modern living leaves us caught up in a stream of thoughts and feelings, trapped in past problems or overwhelmed by future anxieties. By connecting with the present moment, calmly observing our thoughts, feelings and sensations so as to become more directly aware of them, mindfulness practitioners become more able to manage our stresses and challenges.
So how do you do it? First, by becoming more aware of the world around you: switching off your auto-pilot to be aware of your thoughts and feelings, wake up to the physical sensations of things around you. I recommend a set period every day of formal mindfulness practice. The techniques sound simple enough: sit in a quiet place, deep-belly breathing, pay attention to your body, train the mind to observe, focus and filter. In fact, setting aside 15 to 20 minutes a day is often tough, and stopping the mind wandering even tougher, but though practise it becomes easier. We have courses that can help you and have our own range of mp3 downloads that can assist you.