How is Mindfulness and Meditation different?
Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally. Mindfulness can enable you to see things differently, undoing mental and physical knots and tensions. It’s a specific meditation technique that can increase your sense of being fully present in the moment, giving you more options and more strength to face the different challenges in your life. The many Mindfulness techniques you learn will comprise of both formal seated meditation practices, to three-minute breathing techniques, a ‘Body Scan’, to learning how to eat more mindfully. Although Meditation is a large part of the Mindfulness Course, you will gain a whole host of techniques and practices to use that don’t all involve sitting cross-legged on the floor!
What are the benefits?
Our experience suggests that regular mindfulness practice is really effective when trying to overcome stress, worry, lack of focus, relationship problems, addictions and more. It leads to peace of mind and wellbeing, greater focus and creativity and better relationships. It can help you to be more emotionally aware, more attentive and more fully engaged, putting aside preoccupations and waking up to what is happening right now. Studies at Harvard and elsewhere show that just eight weeks of training brings a significant increase in brain grey matter concentration in regions of the brain associated with sustained attention, emotional regulation and perspective taking. Mindfulness helps you find more satisfaction in your life, and in working with particular issues such as daily stress, anxiety, depression and the stress of chronic pain and illness.
There are many interesting articles researching the benefits of Mindfulness but here is one of our favourites, a recent BBC Reporter who researched the Mindfulness course. To view, please click here.
Just as exercising regularly can make you feel better and feel fitter, regular Mindfulness Meditation can improve your mind and wellbeing. Why not find more contentment and less stress in life! Meditation can give you the best conditions for training your mind to be calmer, clearer and kinder to yourself.
Many people believe that to meditate you have to sit cross-legged, perfectly still on the floor for long periods of time. Although you can do this, there are many different ways to meditate and also one of the most important things is to be comfortable, so whether this is sitting in a chair, against a wall or supported in other ways, anything goes.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years by people from all walks of life. Children from as young as five and adults well into their 90s can all learn and benefit from meditation, whatever age you decide to start.
What is the difference between Mindfulness and relaxing?
A good question! Meditation can be very relaxing – profoundly so. And even though they may sometimes feel the same, they are actually two very different things.
There are many different ways to just relax – whether it be a nice long walk, sitting and listening to music, a walk in the sunshine or just sitting in a comfortable place with nothing to do or focus your attention on for a period of time.
Meditation is a practice where you train your mind to become more aware of the present, the here and now. Although you may feel rested after taking time out to relax, Meditation can give you much more focus, clarity and general improvement to your wellbeing, to name just a few of the benefits!
Mindfulness: what can I get from it?
Mindfulness can enable you to see things differently, undoing mental and physical knots and tensions. It can increase your sense of personal confidence, of having more options and more strength to face the different challenges in your life. Research shows that 85% of those completing a course continue to use Mindfulness practices as part of their daily activities. And most people completing Mindfulness programmes report that they gain lasting benefits, such as:
- more energy and enthusiasm
- a greater capacity for relaxation
- enhanced self-confidence and increased ability to handle stressful situations
The theory that meditation can reduce stress, depression and even chronic pain is one that has been gaining in momentum in recent years. And more recently, the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) as taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) as taught by Mark Williams at the University of Oxford have quickly become the interest and choice for academics in the mental health faculty, the Mental Health Foundation and the NHS.
How do I know if it’s for me?
Most of us can benefit from developing Mindfulness and people attending events are men and women from all walks of life, office workers to sports people. Our groups comprise of individuals, interested in methods of self-help or those referred by professionals. Mindfulness is known to help with a wide range of problems, both physical and psychological, and greatly enhance your capacity to cope. It is useful for anyone who is ready to look directly into themselves and learn new ways of responding to what life brings. It is entirely secular and suitable for those of any religion or none, and is available to complete beginners and as well as field/healthcare professionals and counsellors.
Some people want to learn better how to cope with stress in their work or family life; and some people simply want to learn to appreciate their lives more fully, letting go of preoccupations. Sometimes people come because they want to work with a particular issue: depression or anxiety, for example. The principles and practices explored in the course are relevant in each case, and through dialogue we will explore how they can apply in your life. Over the years, teachers have worked with people experiencing depression, OCD, PTSD, chronic pain and even terminal illness along with many others.
So where to now? Check out the available courses to get you started