Mindfulness for adult and child wellbeing
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of bringing ones attention to the present moment and being aware of our own thoughts, feelings and surroundings by using breathing techniques, movement and mindful meditation, which helps to reduce cortisol levels responsible for lowering blood pressure, decreasing anxiety, stress and inflammation, whilst also releasing endorphins and other feel-good hormones into the body.
Mindfulness combines the ancient traditions of meditative practice with modern-day neuroscience, which studies the brain and its impact on behaviour and cognitive function. Research has shown that by incorporating this concept into daily life it can increase happiness and help to reduce negative thoughts and emotions.
The effects of mindfulness are profoundly therapeutic, even though mindfulness itself is not considered a therapy. Regular practice can provide clarity and help us to feel calmer, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep and enable us to reconnect with ourselves, which can have a positive effect on our relationships with family and friends and improve our overall wellbeing.
A brief history of mindfulness
The practice of mindfulness dates back over 2500 years and has its origins in ancient Buddhist philosophy and the yogic practices of the Hindu people, however it also has roots in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
The practice of mindfulness was introduced to the west by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, a Professor of Medicine, and internationally known as the Master of Mindfulness. In 1979 Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre developed a programme called the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) aimed at reducing stress by combining meditation, yoga and body awareness to facilitate bringing about positivity and breaking damaging negative thought patterns.
In the early 1990’s Professor Mark Williams and his colleagues at Oxford University developed a further programme called the MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) to help with treatment of depression, anxiety and emotional trauma, which is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Mindfulness has great benefits and is said to increase well-being and improve many physical and mental health problems.
- Low self-esteem
- Heart disease
- Poor sleep
- High blood pressure
- Poor concentration
- Eating disorders
- Panic Attacks
- Negative thoughts
- Low mood
- Chronic pain
Why choose mindfulness?
There is a strong connection between mindfulness and happiness, and being happy is essential to positive wellbeing. Practicing mindfulness can bring happiness into your life and help you to understand yourself and your own needs especially if you are struggling with mental health, stress or living with pain, PTSD
or anxiety. Complementary therapies such as reflexology can also benefit or complement mindfulness.
As both a Happiness Facilitator and Mindfulness Teacher, I use a combination of
therapeutic approaches and techniques. I also blend aspects from both MBSR and MBCT to create a unique person-centered programme. Sessions will include guided mediations, which can be done seated, lying, or standing with your eyes open or closed. We will have reflective discussions with the use of Mindful
poems and stories and some gentle Mindful Movement. These sessions aim to equip you with all the tools needed to further your own self-study and personal development.
Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions. – Dalai Lama