Mindful about Mindfulness

Hey, thank you for visiting my blog. Just a quick note, my blog is primarily based on personal views and experience, sometimes referring to research and some background information, with the aim of helping anyone who may be suffering, or know of anyone suffering from a mental health illness. I would welcome any advice and feedback on my blogs, or your personal thoughts on the topic.

Many of you may have already heard the word mindfulness being used before, but maybe not fully understood what it is. The idea behind this blog is to increase awareness of mindfulness, and to hopefully encourage more people to start to practice mindfulness. This post will therefore be quite short, and before I begin, it is important to explain that although I talk about Buddhism, mindfulness has no religious connotations whatsoever.

The concept of mindfulness is becoming heavily influential in Western society. It is simply a relaxation technique that stems from Buddhist tradition and has been popularised in Western society by Jon Kabat-Zinn, when he developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme. Jon Kabbat-Zinn described mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.” It simply means taking the time to concentrate and live in the present moment.

In Western society, we’re all so busy, running around with very little time to actually relax. Mindfulness has been introduced as a way to slow people down. Most people can’t even remember things that they have seen on their busy commute to work or university, or don’t even concentrate on each step in the process of making a cup of tea. This is because, we, as humans, have become so automated, that many everyday tasks actually require very little concentration.

Breathing, for example, is an automatic action that requires very little (if any) thought. Mindful breathing however, encourages individuals to breathe slowly, concentrating on each step in the breathing process. Mindfulness really encourages the individual to slow down and complete tasks in a more relaxed, attentive manner.

Mindfulness has been found to be especially effective for reducing stress, depression and anxiety. Mindfulness based programmes have been found to significantly decrease the risk of relapse for depressed individuals. There is actually a significant amount of research that has found mindfulness to be beneficial in reducing stress, depression, and anxiety in individuals. There are benefits for everyone also, including reducing stress levels and improving physical health. Mindfulness has been found to increase well-being, through increasing self-compassion also.

I have written this particular blog simply to inform people about Mindfulness, what it is, how it is found to be helpful, and the forms of mindfulness based treatment available. I hope that this blog has been informative, and that people understand it better. Help can be found from your GP (if you feel you suffer from a mental health illness); and further information about mindfulness can be found in the following ways:

  • You can find online courses for mindfulness.
  • Mindful colouring has become something of a phenomenon lately – to help relieve stress. These are available in different patterns, for individuals of all ages.
  • Free mindfulness tracks are available for use on YouTube.
  • If you are diagnosed with a mental health illness, you may be referred to take part in a mindfulness course.
  • There are also some recently developed mindfulness apps available.
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