Mindfulness is a mental state achieved through focusing one’s awareness by “paying attention in the present moment”, while acknowledging and accepting our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
How does Mindfulness work?
By being fully present– not forcing anything, just actually being in the moment, we create space to respond in new ways to situations and are able to make wiser choices. We don’t always have 100% control over everything in life, yet through mindfulness we can work with our minds and bodies, learning to live with more appreciation, compassion and with less anxiety and stress.
Where does Mindfulness originate?
Brought to the West through ancient Buddhist Practices by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn. In America Jon Kabat-Zinn adapted these into modern therapeutic applications to help people experiencing emotional & physical conditions.
On a visit to the USA Professor Mark Williams met Kabat-Zin and saw at first hand the amazing results that Mindfulness was achieving and brought Mindfulness back to the UK. Considerable research has been undertaken throughout the world which is supporting all the early evidence.
In 2015 the UK Government published The Mindful Nation Report. It states “Mindfulness is a transformative practice, leading to a deeper understanding of how to respond to situations wisely”. They recommended access to Mindfulness training become available in Education, Health and in the Criminal Justice system.
Mindfulness is recommended by the NHS and the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) as a way of preventing depression and developing skills to notice stress and anxiety earlier and so helping us to deal with them better.
How do we pay attention, what does it mean?
Our brain contains over 100 billion neurons (brain cells) and 1000 Billion helper neurons. They are constantly communicating with one another through electrical and chemical transfers. Our thoughts are between 75,000 and 82,000 a day. Scientists suggest that 75% of our conscious thoughts are negative or self-limiting!!
The more you practice Mindfulness, the more you will be re-educating your mind to undertake more positive activities, rather than allowing your negative thoughts and worries to influence you.
It’s fascinating that The Heart Math institute undertook research that suggested that our more toxic thoughts can actually change our brains wiring into a negative direction. It physically changed the DNA of the subjects. Dr Herbery Benson MD went on to suggest in further work at Harvard Medical School that toxic thinking wears down the brain.
Therefore the opposite has been found to be true, the more we focus on positive thoughts and become more kind and compassionate with ourselves, we can improve our brains wiring making it more positive. The Heart Math Institute identified that the DNA changed for the better in those who were more positive, demonstrating more love, joy, appreciation and gratitude.
Mindfulness Therapy Sessions
The Changist provides Mindfulness & Compassion one 2 one therapy sessions, short courses for businesses and individuals, bespoke workshops and Mindful One Day Retreats.