Mindfulness is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a way to prevent depression in people who have had three or more bouts of depression in the past. (from www.nhs.uk). However increasingly mindfulness is being used as a tool to help us manage the stress of everyday life and allow us to develop self-awareness and emotional regulation.

So what is Mindfulness?  Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says that mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment. “It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour,” he says. Applying mindfulness in our day to day lives can improve our mental wellbeing and resilience. This awareness can help us notice signs of stress or anxiety earlier, and help us to deal with them better.

Whatever issue we are aiming to address in therapy – awareness of mindfulness based approaches can be useful for many people. This is where we aim to teach you methods of finding the ‘pause’ button in effect. We might notice how busy our minds are and full of ‘white noise’ and ‘chatter’ that contributes to our feeling stressed and overwhelmed. We can learn to step aside from this and train ourselves to be observers of our thoughts. It has its roots in Buddhism but is a non-religious approach. It is about creating the space to become more aware of our thoughts and feelings but at the same time being less caught up in them as being facts or inevitably negative experiences. It’s a technique that if regularly practiced can allow us to find an inner peace and calm that can be a helpful resource at times of stress. It’s certainly not a state of mind we would aim to be in all the time but a useful tool in the toolkit that can give us general benefits too when practiced regularly. It can be helpful for coping with emotional and physical health difficulties as well as a great resource for enhancing our general wellbeing and self-awareness in its own right, or most commonly as an addition to other therapies. Contact us now to book your first session or to find out more.