What is Mindfulness?

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What is mindfulness?

Have you ever driven home and wondered how you got there? Have you ever gone to the movies with a packet of lollies or popcorn then wondered how you managed to eat it all and you don’t feel full but a little sick?

Mindfulness is a way of being aware of what you are doing at every waking moment. It is being alert and acknowledging the here and now.

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Mindfulness is not a new concept but one that has been around since the 1970’s with the founder Jon Kabat-Zinn developing the (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction )MBSR) in the USA and which became the foundation of what mindfulness is today.

When a person goes through mindfulness training research has shown that there are benefits to the immune system and can positively alter brain structures including the amygdala (fear centre) and the prefrontal cortex (happiness and wellbeing). When you practice mindfulness you are training your brain to focus on everything you do, see, say, eat and feel. You will find that what is important in this world is not what you do but how you react, you reduce your fight or flight response and learn to relax.

So how can you practice mindfulness? The next meal you have, I want you to sit at the table, blindfold yourself and eat one piece of food at a time. Savour that piece of food, think about the texture, the taste and how it feels in your mouth. Try practicing mindfulness when you walk. Begin by having an intention to walk, take some conscious breaths, stand with your feet hip width apart. Balance, lean your weight on one foot, then the other, being aware of what your feet are doing, the way your hips move then focus your attention on what is around you.

Mindfulness can occur in everything you do and at any time of the day from the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep.  Mindfulness is about being in the moment.

Learn out more about our Community and Counselling courses.

Wendy Webber
Head of Faculty
Community Services and Counselling