How can it help?
Mindfulness helps us to access an inner stillness and peace in a busy world. Often we rush through life without paying much attention to what is going on around us. Our minds are busy with thoughts often making plans, worrying about the future, lost in daydreams or regretting the past. For example, have you ever driven to work only to arrive without quite knowing how you got there, only to realise that your mind was so busy you did not notice the road before you? We call this being on automatic pilot, where our mind is continuously wandering without our awareness and full of habitual thoughts. Often this results in increased stress and unhappiness, and a general sense of dissatisfaction even when things are going well. We lose connection with the present moment which prevents us from taking things as they come and remaining open to our own unique experience.
The eight week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course originally developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn over thirty five years ago has an impressive body of clinical research to support effectiveness for participants with a variety of life challenges such a stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain.
Benefits of Mindfulness include:
- Reduced stress, worry, and anxiety.
- Increased inner stability, wellbeing and resilience to life’s challenges.
- Greater ability to relax and maintain present moment awareness.
- Improves mood and emotional wellbeing.
- Strengthens decision making, memory, information processing and problem solving abilities.
- Can improve interpersonal relationships with others.
- Greater appreciation of simple things in life.
- Increased immunity and physical wellbeing.
- Assists with our relationship to physical and emotional pain.
“I have just completed an 8 week mindfulness course with Shirine . Simply put, it has started me on my recovery from a racing mind which was affecting my life negatively . I now have the knowledge and skills to live a more peaceful and happier life . I feel really lucky to have made contact and started the course . As an added bonus it has improved my breathing when exercising. I highly recommend this course and wish anyone doing it the best of luck” – Stephen
Through mindfulness we learn to live consciously and with awareness in our everyday lives. Mindfulness meditation teaches us to relate to our experience in a new way. Instead of getting caught up in our thoughts, emotions and physical sensations we observe them without judgement. We also learn to take care of ourselves with an attitude of friendliness or kindness towards our inner experience. This helps us to respond rather than react our experiences and life events and allows us to access our own inner resources when we most need them. By practicing mindfulness we can greatly improve our sense of wellbeing and contentment as well as our ability to truly connect with our lives moment by moment.
According to the Centre for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, published research suggests that people who participate in an MBSR course often report;
- An increased ability to relax
- Greater energy and enthusiasm for life
- Improved self-esteem
- Reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away.
- Lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms
- An ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations.
(Centre for Mindfulness, http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/stress/index.aspx)
“The course has been very important to me. It came along at a time in my life when I needed it most. I have gained a new awareness of time and how I use it. I am a calmer, happier person.” -Gillian