Mindfulness involves learning to pay attention to the present moment in a particular, non-judgmental and deliberate way to lessen the damage and unhappiness caused by intrusive, distressing thoughts and memories. We are often unaware of what we are doing. For example, when driving a car or doing everyday tasks we tend to be thinking of other things such as what we need to do tomorrow or what we have done in the past rather than on the details of the present activity. By becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations from moment to moment we give ourselves the possibility of greater freedom and control of our thoughts. We can avoid relapsing into ways of thinking that may have caused problems in the past. Mindfulness aims to bring our attention back to the current moment and to notice the sensations associated with the current action. The therapy used to achieve this is Mindfulness Meditation which focuses primarily on breathing. Every time the mind wanders and other thoughts intrude, the attention is brought back to focus on the act and physical sensations of breathing. With regular practice, once we have learnt how to be mindful of our breathing, physical sensations and routine daily activities, we can then learn to be mindful and more accepting of even our most disturbing or distressing thoughts and feelings which can greatly increase our ability to enjoy our lives.
Created by the founders of the Cheltenham Wellbeing Festival, the WellBook Guide showcases the latest trends, inspiring ideas, and news, about health and wellbeing, featuring experts and practitioners from the local community and beyond.