Many people find it hard to cope with the pressures of modern living. Every day, a quarter of a million people miss work because of stress, with 75 per cent of all illnesses thought to be stress-related. And when times are hard, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga. It helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, we’re better able to manage them.

Practising mindfulness can give people more insight into their emotions, boost their attention and concentration and improve relationships. It’s proven to help with stress, anxiety, depression and addictive behaviours, and can even have a positive effect on physical problems like hypertension, heart disease and chronic pain.

Originally a Buddhist practice – dating back 2600 years – secular mindfulness has become widely practised in the West due to the extensive scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness in helping relieve many stress-related difficulties (see benefits listed). Mindfulness can be described as “The awareness that arises by paying attention in a particular way: On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally.”

It is a highly beneficial quality of mind (and approach to life) that anyone can develop through practice and with expert guidance. It involves combining formal meditation with daily ‘on-the-go’ exercises. Mindfulness is taught over a number of weeks (typically 8). This allows time for both the skill/habit of mindfulness to be formed, and for its benefits to take root. Once learned, clients are equipped with a life-enhancing practice that can serve them for the rest of their lives.

Mindfulness can be very effective for:

· Reducing Stress

· Calming Anxiety

· Preventing Depression Relapse

· Managing Chronic Pain

· Taming Worry & Overthinking

· Promoting Better Sleep

· Lowering Blood Pressure

· Bolstering Immune System

· Increasing Focus & Attention

· Improving Working Memory

· Better Cognitive Function

· Emotional Regulation

· Being Calmer Under Pressure

· Developing Patience

· Enhancing Self-Awareness

· Compassion For Self & Others

· Nurturing Stronger Relationships You don’t have to be experiencing any of the above to benefit from learning mindfulness. Many people find the practice to be a wonderful way to feel more present and connected to themselves and the world around them – a reliable way to maintain their mental health and resilience.

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