What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention to purpose, in the present moment, with compassion and open-hearted curiosity. Through cultivating mindful awareness, we discover how to live in the present moment rather than brooding about the past or worrying about the future.
Mindfulness is an integrative, mind–body-based training that enables people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences, especially stressful experiences.
(The Oxford Mindfulness Centre)
How Can Mindfulness Help?
Many people find it hard to cope with the stresses and pressures of modern living.
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga. It helps us become more aware of our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations so that, instead of being overwhelmed by them, we’re better able to manage them.
Practising mindfulness can give people more insight into their emotions, boost their attention and concentration and improve relationships. It’s proven to help with stress, anxiety, depression and addictive behaviours, and can even have a positive effect on physical problems like hypertension, heart disease and chronic pain.
What’s the difference between MBSR and MBCT?
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society in the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It applies insight meditation techniques, which have a Buddhist psychological framework, in a secular format. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for recurrent depression was developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale. MBCT for recurrent depression represents an evolutionary development of MBSR within a cognitive scientific theoretical framework. It has proven effective in clinical trials for preventing serious recurrent depression, and is approved and recommended in the UK by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). (Oxford Mindfulness Centre)
How can I train to teach mindfulness?
Currently, there is no Awarding Body regulating mindfulness teaching/training; however, we recommend all practitioners follow the UK Good Practice Guidelines. Now Unlimited offer a teacher training programme and can signpost individuals
Is mindfulness for everyone?
Mindfulness is recommended as a treatment for some people who experience mental health problems such as stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as those who want to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
There are also different sorts of mindfulness meditation, which can help people in different ways. Evidence shows compelling support for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which helps people to cope with stress, and for Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), which is designed to help people with recurring depression. They provide a flexible set of skills to manage mental health and support wellbeing.
Some people call mental health ‘emotional health’ or ‘wellbeing’ and it’s just as important as good physical health. Mental health is everyone’s business. We all have times when we feel down or stressed or frightened; most of the time those feelings pass, but sometimes they develop into a more serious problem, and that could happen to any one of us.
Is mindfulness a fad?
There are a lot of misconceptions around mindfulness, including that it’s a fad with no evidence-base. Mindfulness doesn’t work for everyone, but for those who practise regularly it can have some pretty significant results. Mindfulness has recently been the subject of an all parliamentary group and will begin to emerge more frequently in the mainstream and the provision of public services.
I have never done mindfulness before what should I do?
Please have a browse through our website and read about mindfulness. There are plenty of resources to help you discover mindfulness. Alternatively please contact so we can answer any query you have.
I work for an organisation in the voluntary or community sector do you offer differential pricing?
Yes we offer differentiated pricing for organisations in the voluntary and community sectors. We also offer free or subsidised places on many of our courses for those who need our servces in line with our values as a social enterprise.
In what way is mindfulness different other types of meditation?
There are 2 types of meditation; insight and concentration. Mindfulness is classified as insight meditation because it involves bringing attention to the body and mind in the present moment without changing things. You simply observe whatever is happening and in doing so develop a greater awareness and understanding of the causes and effects of difficulty in your life. In concentration meditation, the focus is on ideas, imagery or a mantra with the aim of becoming fully integrated with the object of focus.
Is meditation the same as relaxation?
No, meditation can generate feelings of relaxation and other times it may not. What makes the difference is your intention, simply placing awareness on your experience. If you try to use meditation to relax it could lead to feelings of frustration and disappointment when it doesn’t work.
It’s hard to find the time to meditate, what should I do?
This is something that I hear a lot. Over time people come to see the benefits of making time and many report that a regular practice actually saves them time as they become more focused and their concentration improves. I found it helpful to schedule my practice in the diary much like I would any other appointment. I try to do 30 – 40 minutes each day, but when this isn’t possible I make sure that I incorporate at least 5 -10 minutes into my day.
When I meditate I often have strong feelings come up and I find this difficult. How do I learn to deal with this happening?
Begin by acknowledging the emotions you are experiencing and allowing them the space to be there. By resisting these emotions you are adding to the difficulty so try to “go with it” rather than resisting and over time these emotions will become less intense. Notice what is happening in your body when you have these emotions, this will give you a useful tool to use during the day, letting you know how you are feeling early on.