Mindfulness is both a way of being and a practice. Mindfulness involves being fully engaged in the present moment and purposefully directing your attention rather than letting it wander. Meditation is the method used to develop attentional skills and there are three main ‘types’ of mindfulness meditation; focused meditation, open awareness meditation and loving kindness meditation. Mindfulness encourages a non-judgemental, accepting openness to all experience, meaning that thoughts, emotions and events are not labelled as good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, they are just observed, or ‘noticed’ as happening in that moment.

Mindfulness is a mind-body practice that benefits both psychological and physical health, with scientific evidence supporting benefits such as;

  • reduction in stress, anxiety and negative emotions
  • reduction in rumination, a major cause and symptom of depression and anxiety
  • reduction in automatic, conditioned reactions
  • increase in conscious, intentional responses
  • increased awareness, mental flexibility and focus
  • enhanced immune system and greater resistance to stress-related illnesses
  • increased self-acceptance, compassion and empathy