Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzz word. So what is it about mindfulness that is attracting so much interest?
Meditatation has been practised for thousands of years. It has been associated with Buddhist and other religions and more since the 1980's used as a stress management too assisting people to lower their stress levels, feel calmer and enjoy a sense of greater wellbeing
Neuroscience has now been able to reveal what is actually happening in the brain when people practice mindfulness meditation and the full benefits are only now coming to be appreciated. Mindfulness is now being used as a means to thrive in our busy environment both at work and at home.
Mindfulness provides the means to develop our attention skills and focus, improves our ability to learn, our memory and other cognitive skills such as problem solving, helps sleep, assists in pain management, boosts the immune system and even influences our expected longevity. In addition it assists in lowering cortisol levels associated with stress, helping your prefrontal cortex to remain active and alert and engaged with what is happening in the present.
mindFULL meditation is a six week program aimed at thinking more clearly, boosting attention and improving problem-solving. It can be helpful for work performance, succeeding in exams, as well as over all wellbeing.
Mindfulness training enables participants to be aware of current sensations, feelings and states of mind by removing emotional baggage attached to a situation. They are able to look at possible solutions and make decisions based on clear, focussed thinking.
In a recent study at Massachusetts General Hospital, MRI scans showed measurable, physical changes to participants brains after a mindfulness meditation program, as well as improved feelings of wellbeing. As in many areas, it shows how the brain's ability to 're-wire' itself can be used in every day life.
Beginning with a 90 minute workshop explaining how stress affects body and mind, participants are taught the techniques of mindfulness meditation, and encouraged to practice it daily. The workshop is followed by five weekly meetings, for participants to develop their meditation skills, with ongoing tuition.