Mindfulness

People come to mindfulness for many different reasons. Sometimes they are looking for ways to manage chronic health conditions, such as pain, depression, or anxiety, or they may want to learn to meditate or simply be more present in their life.

Certainly the evidence suggests people are more distracted, leading complicated lives, perhaps juggling family demands with work which can be emotionally draining. Whatever the reasons, it seems that people get out of mindfulness what they most need, as it helps each person to find better balance in their lives. Mindfulness is not a magic cure-all that will make problems go away. However is can help to relate to problems differently. Studies have shown that physiological changes take place as a result of practising mindfulness meditation, and these include changes in the brain as well as blood pressure and improved immune system.

But people who already practise mindfulness often find it challenging to take the skills learned into their everyday life- the busyness of the office to family is distracting and fall into familiar patterns of automatic behaviour.

They can find themselves compartmentalising mindfulness into something they do at home for 15 -20 minutes at a time, rather than face the challenge of doing it throughout the day. But the more you practise mindfulness anywhere and at any time, the more will become second nature, and you will find yourself practising it instinctively throughout your day.

Mindfulness on the Go, By Anna Black is a great book which has a series of 'prompt' cards, divided into practice and activity categories, that focus on how to practice mindfulness. 'Practice prompts' involve mini meditations to do while you are out and about whereas 'activity prompts' focus more on becoming aware of your habitual patterns of behaviour as well as ways that mindfulness can help you cultivate new ones.


THE POWER OF INTENTION

Setting a clear intention is a really helpful way to support your practice. Make sure you are clear about what is being asked of you and then make a definite intention to do whatever is suggested as best you can.




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