What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a translation of a word that means awareness. It involves paying attention to what’s going on inside your mind and body, and what’s going on in the outside world as well.
Much of the time our attention is caught up in our hopes or worries for the future (‘what if…?’) and our memories and regrets from the past (‘If only…’). This ‘mental time travel’ takes us out of the present moment. Mindfulness helps us to reconnect with our experience in this moment, without judgment or harsh criticism. Mindful awareness helps us see with greater clarity how we may approach each moment skilfully, taking more pleasure in the good things that often go unnoticed or unappreciated, and dealing more effectively with the difficulties we encounter.
What is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)?
MBCT combines meditation practice with modern Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques, in an 8-week ‘class’ format together with daily home-practices. MBCT is recommended by the UK’s National Institute of Clinical Excellence and is as effective as antidepressants for preventing recurrent bouts of depression. Research has shown MBCT is also effective in helping people with a range of physical and emotional problems e.g. chronic fatigue, pain, stress, anxiety and panic.
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