Mindfulness and Mental Health

What is Mindfulness? 

In it's simplest form, mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment, without judgement. Focusing on the here and now, in turn, allowing your mind to quieten, being able to soften the noise within your brain and around you. 

If practised regularly, the benefits can be profound, including, but not limited to, improved focus and attention, reduced anxiety and depression, reduced chronic pain, boosted immune system, reduced stress, promoted better sleep and improved emotional regulation and resilience.

What are the advantages of Mindfulness?

Research has shown that Mindfulness and meditation can assist with:

Stress, Anxiety, Pain, Depression, Insomnia, High blood pressure (hypertension)

Preliminary research suggests that meditation may also provide relief for individuals dealing with asthma and fibromyalgia.

You can try some different types of breathing exercises here.

What are some instances of mindfulness exercises?

There are lots of different types of Mindfulness that you can try. A few examples are:

Sensory Awareness: In our fast-paced world, it can be challenging to slow down and truly perceive our surroundings through all our senses—touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste. For instance, when indulging in a favorite meal, take the time to savor and fully experience its aroma and taste.

Present-Moment Living: Deliberately bring forth an open, accepting, and discerning awareness to each moment of your life. Discover contentment in life's simple pleasures.

Self-Acceptance: Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you extend to a cherished friend.

Focused Breathing: In moments of negative thoughts, consider sitting down, taking a deep breath, and gently closing your eyes. Concentrate on the rhythm of your breath as it flows in and out of your body. 

Additional Resources

We have detailed below links to some useful resources that you may wish to explore.

Books and recommended reading

Jon Kabat Zinn– Full Catastrophe Living – Mindfulness for pain 

Jon Kabat Zinn – Wherever you go, There you are

Mark Williams and Danny Penman – Finding Peace in a Frantic World

David Hamilton - I Heart Me: The Science of Self-Love

Mindfulness for Health – A practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing by Vidyamala Burch

Podcasts and Video's

Mindfulness for pain - How mindfulness meditation redefines pain, happiness & satisfaction TED Talk from Dr. Kasim Al-Mashat

Mindfulness for pain - A Different Approach To Pain Management: Mindfulness Meditation TED Talk from Fadal Zeidan

Dr. Kate Truitt - YouTube video for guided meditation for anxiety relief. 

Sean Fargo - A library of talks by different mindfulness and wellbeing coaches. 

Websites and Apps

Breathworks - Offer mindfulness and compassion training including courses, products and teacher training to aid people living with pain, illness and stress.  

Headroom - Is a mental health toolkit provided by the BBC. 

Mindful - Is a website that contains a library of guided menditations which focus on different aspects such as sleep, movement, anxiety and more. 

Mindfulness Exercises - free guided meditations and mindfulness talks, that can be downloaded. 

Sharon Salzberg - is an author and teacher of Buddhist meditation practices and this website contains details of her books and podcasts and how to access them. 

Tara Brach - Meditation, Emotianal Healing and Spiritual Awakening, contains blogs and useful resources. We recommend 'Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN'.

Self Compassion - contains TED Talks, practises and resources. 

Jon Kabat Zinn - This website offers an array of resources for deepening your interest and engagement in mindfulness practices.

Headspace - An app that uses science-backed meditation and mindfulness tools, to help create life-changing habits to support your mental health and find a healthier, happier you.

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