Mindfulness / Self Awareness for Mental Health
Mindfulness, which originally comes from the Buddhist tradition, has for thousands of years been used as a means to cultivate the mind, reduce suffering and attain enlightenment. It was first introduced to the western medical system in the 1970’s by John Kabat-Zinn through his Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR) programme. This highly acclaimed, evidence based programme has proven, over the past 30 years, to be remarkably effective in the treatment of stress, depression anxiety and pain management.
Today we find that mindfulness is being widely adopted by both the medical and psychological professions as a powerful tool for alleviating both physical and mental suffering.
Mindfulness is a specific type of self-awareness that forms an integral part of each Yoga for the Mind session. In practice it involves objectively watching our arising thoughts and feelings in a curious and non-judgemental way, in order to better understand them. Mindfulness offers a new perspective from which to more clearly see the self generated, habitual thought patterns and distorted perceptions and that give birth to painful mental states and suffering. With this insight we are able to gradually undo these habits and let go of destructive, negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves and the world.
BENEFITS OF MINDFULNESS
• Improves attention, concentration and focus
• Reduces tendency to overreact and ruminate
• Lessons the power of inaccurate perceptions
• Increased awareness of feeling and reduced internal narratives
• Reduced obsession with self-related thinking
• Enhances self regulation
• Improved immune functioning