Mindfulness Meditation – What is it?
Mindfulness is now an accepted factor in helping heal mental health issues in the UK. Essentially, it Provides people with strategies to manage their thoughts and emotions. Often, mindfulness allows access to a deeper sense of well being and personal contentment.
However, you do NOT have to have problems in order to benefit from mindfulness meditation. In fact, many people integrate the techniques into their daily lives in order to live in a calm, well-balanced state.
Mindfulness helps you to:
- raise awareness of your emotions, thoughts and feelings and how you react to them
- notice negative thoughts
- notice how your thoughts affect your physical well being
- find new coping strategies so that you react differently
- realise that your thoughts do not define you
- release thoughts that diminish your happiness
- learn to enjoy each moment with more attention such as taking a shower, sunshine on your face or eating a delicious, nutritious meal.
What technique is used?
The technique used is making a special effort to give full attention to the breath and present moment. Next, you will learn about approaching feelings in new ways. As a result, reactions are different and measured. Many times during the day, thoughts will come into your mind that you may not pay attention to or push away. Increasingly, these thoughts may have a negative impact if they are important and not being addressed.
Your instructor may use a variety of techniques to help you achieve mindfulness. They will probably ask you to focus on 3 areas: running in autopilot mode, the being mode and the acceptance mode.
Eventually, you will recognise these as separate states of being. From there, you will learn the mental tools to create space between a stressful situation and yourself mentally. Ultimately, you will then go on to learn and recognise negative emotions and manage them more efficiently, halting mild depression and preventing it from becoming deeper.
What are the benefits of Mindfulness?
After putting in your best effort and commitment you should achieve:
- Higher awareness of feelings and thoughts
- Cope well with negative feelings
- Resilience to difficult feelings and events
- A kinder acceptance of self
- Reduction in stress and/or anxiety
- Ability to handle health problems or pain in a more positive way
According to Mind, the mental health charity:
Research has shown practising mindfulness can help manage mild depression, anxiety and stress.
The National Institute of Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends:
…using the therapy to treat mild depression.
Is it right for me?
Mindfulness can be very helpful if you want to cope with stress, anxiety and mild depression.
You may find it beneficial if you worry constantly about things beyond your control. Similarly, It is helpful for those who find it difficult to switch off and relax.
Therefore, mindfulness could be the answer if feelings start to be unmanageable or occasional sad feelings arise, .
Finally, don’t be scared to ask for help.