What’s the point of mindfulness?
In adults, mindfulness training has been proven time and again to improve health and wellbeing. It also helps people of all ages to learn more effectively, think more clearly, perform better and to feel calmer, less anxious and less depressed. Mindfulness is now recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence , and GPs are referring adults to 8 week courses that reduce stress and help prevent recurrent depression. It is increasingly being used in business to improve staff wellbeing and satisfaction, in sports training to improve performance, and with children and young people and in schools to enhance wellbeing and learning.
How do people learn mindfulness?
Mindfulness is always learned in a highly practical way, through experience rather than talk. We gradually learn to direct our attention in a more focused way to whatever is actually happening – whether it be our breathing, the sensations in our body, thoughts and feelings, or everyday activities such as walking and eating.
Is it difficult?
At first the mind wanders constantly, but with practice we learn to sustain our attention and direct it more skilfully. This helps break the grip of unhelpful mental habits, judgements and impulses, making way for greater calm, and for more helpful, kinder and rational thinking about all aspects of life. However, this takes practice!