What is Mindfulness?

10951104_592941794176656_2847515752670157684_nMindfulness is an integrative, mind-body based training that helps people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences, especially stressful experiences, and is recommended as a treatment for people with mental health problems.

What is Mindfulness?
Is an integrative, mind-body based training that enables people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences, especially stressful experiences.

pays attention to thoughts, feelings and body sensations to become directly aware of them, and better able to manage them; is of potential value to everybody to help find peace in a frantic world.

People who have learned mindfulness,
experience long-lasting physical and psychological stress reduction;
discover positive changes in well-being;
are less likely to get stuck in depression, exhaustion, and are better able to control addictive behaviour.

The Benefits of Mindfulness.
Practising mindfulness helps you:
to be fully present, in the here and now,
to become aware of what you are avoiding,
to become more connected to yourself, to others and to the world around you,
to increase self-awareness,
to become less disturbed by and less reactive to unpleasant experiences,
to learn the distinction between you and your thoughts,
to have more direct contact with the world, rather than living through your thoughts,
to learn that everything changes; that thoughts and feelings come and go,
to have more balance, less emotional volatility,
to experience more calm and peacefulness,
to develop self-acceptance and self-compassion.

Benefits of Mindfulness in Life and Work.
The practise of mindfulness enables you to:
improve focus and concentration,
increase self-awareness,
reduce the impact and influence of stressful thoughts and feelings,
facilitate better relationships,
catch self-defeating behaviours, and substitute more effective ones,
become aware of self-defeating thought processes, and ‘let them go’.
All of this boils down to three major benefits: improved performance, reduced stress, and greater satisfaction in work and life.

Mindfulness and Therapy.
Mindfulness training has emerged as a powerful, evidence-based tool for enhancing psychological health. It has been clinically proven in a wide range of clinical disorders, including chronic pain, anxiety disorders, depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), substance abuse, and borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a psychological therapy designed to aid in preventing the relapse of depression, specifically in individuals with Major depressive disorder (MDD).
Clinical trials have shown that MBCT is as effective as antidepressants, and in patients with multiple episodes of depression can reduce the recurrence rate by forty-fifty percent compared with usual care.

Mindfulness can be practiced by children, young people and adults.

The evidence for mindfulness.
Mindfulness treatment has been shown to affect how the brain works and even its structure. People undertaking mindfulness training have shown increased activity in the area of the brain associated with positive emotion (the pre-frontal cortex) which is generally less active in people who are depressed.

More than one hundred studies have shown changes in brain wave activity during Mindfulness treatment. Furthermore, researchers have found that areas of the brain linked to emotional regulation are larger in people who regularly practice Mindfulness.
The evidence for different types of mindfulness is promising and research has grown in recent years.

© 2015, Content: Dr Vasilios Silivistris – Artwork: Ian Francis. All rights reserved.