Mindfulness is an approach which aims to help calm the mind, encourage you to be compassionate with yourself and help you to observe your thought processes without self-criticism. Although its roots are in Buddhism and it has been practised for many centuries, it is in this frantic world that more people are turning to the technique in order to find calm and live life ‘in the moment’.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) aims to change both the way you think and the way you behave by focusing on the negative patterns in your life and helping you change these into more positive habits. The core of this talking therapy is the knowledge that your thoughts and actions are all connected and, in addressing your current patterns, your state of mind and reactions to situations will be greatly improved. Aspects of CBT are therefore extremely useful in teaching mindfulness based life skills as it is also an ‘in the moment’ therapy.
Learning mindfulness based skills
Because the basis of the technique is to self regulate your attention in a moment, mindfulness can be practised any time, anywhere as long as you can connect yourself to your immediate environment and guide your thoughts in a positive and constructive direction. Cognitively repeating the process encourages your mind to change the way you think, breaking out of unhelpful and often unconscious negative thought patterns and aiding you to free yourself from anxiety, stress and depression. It can also lead to improved concentration, a better working memory, a less emotional reaction to events happening around you and even to an alleviation of pain.
Through guided meditation you will be encouraged to focus on your breath and senses initially and then taught how to explore the sensations of body and movement. These and other exercises will be taught and you will be advised to continue practising at home in order to experience the positive changes that can come from them.
The process will then be widened to learn how to apply mindfulness through walking, art and nature to name but a few. In addition to one on one therapy and group courses, other options are available for you to join – see our upcoming events for further information.