Mindfulness

 

“The awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the current moment, non-judgementally” - Jon Kabat-Zinn

Much of the stress we experience in our lives stems from the reactive nature of our thinking, with one thought leading to another and another, until we can have forgotten where it was that we started from. We can very quickly be caught up in patterns of thought that lead us into automatic patterns of behaviour that we frequently experience as being very stressful. Mindfulness helps us to cultivate the capacity to be present in the moment, not thinking about things in the past, or caught up looking forward to or worrying about things yet to come.

Whether it’s allowing ourselves to be fully aware of the sensation of water running over our hands and between our fingers as we wash our hands, or noticing the arising and fading away of thoughts, not getting caught up with them, but simply noticing, mindfulness gives us access to greater awareness. With awareness then comes the ability to see things closer to how they really are, and then the freedom to choose how next to act. As such it builds our resilience and our capacity to fully engage with life in a positive and meaningful way.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom”  Viktor Frankl – “Man’s Search for Meaning”

See some video clips that will help you get a better sense of what Mindfulness is and how it can bring a wide array of benefits.

Resources

Mindfulness Body Scan

This practice involves steadily bringing the focus of our awareness across the whole of our body. Starting from the tips of our toes, we move up through the feet and the legs and on up throughout the body, opening to an awareness of whatever sensations may arise. Our intention is not to do or to change anything, but simply to be aware of what arises, moment by moment...

Mindful Eating

A simple definition of mindfulness is when the activity you're engaged in and your focus of attention, are fully aligned. This of course can be any activity, but it can be particularly rewarding when we bring the full focus of our attention to the act of eating a piece of food. Not only do we become aware, as perhaps never before, of the depth of taste and texture, we can also experience a real sense of connection with both the particular piece of food we're eating and all those others who will have been involved in its journey to this moment...

Loving Kindness Meditation

While being mindful involves bringing the full focus of our attention to something, be it our breathing, our thoughts, sensations in the body, or perhaps smells or sounds, there is a second and equally important aspect of the practice. Without a compassionate acceptance of our experience, mindfulness can become a vehicle for self-criticism, and perhaps even self-loathing. Accompanying focus with a capacity to be with pain and difficulty, to accept and be open to our vulnerability, and to genuinely want ourselves and others to be happy, allows us and others to experience the full benefit of our practice...

Mindful Breathing

The breath is perhaps the aspect of our experience upon which people most commonly choose to focus when the look to practice mindfulness. This is not only because our breath is always there, accessible to us at any moment, but also because frequently, bringing our full attention to the sensations of breathing leads to more regulated breathing patterns. This can then put us in a position to be able to more deeply and meaningfully explore other aspects of our experience.

Discussing Mindfulness at West Heath

From September 2021, here at West Heath we began a programme aimed at delivering Mindfulness to students across the school. While it's very early days, one of those delivering the programme, Helen Garrod, speaks about mindfulness more generally as well about students' experience thus far.

The Science of Mindfulness | Dr Joe Flanders

Probably the biggest reason why mindfulness has become a mainstream health intervention - not to mention a popular lifestyle trend - is the surge in scientific research in the topic the last 10 years. What follows is an overview of some of the most interesting and surprising findings in the field.

Bite-Sized Mindfulness: An Easy Way for Kids to be Happy and Healthy | KIRA WILLEY

Kira presents simple, powerful mindfulness techniques for children that can reduce stress, improve school performance, and help kids manage their behavior and emotions. She shows how easily these short, kid-friendly exercises can be used by anyone, in a variety of settings. Kira Willey is a children’s music artist, kids’ yoga expert and speaker, and creator of Rockin’ Yoga school programs...

What is Mindfulness? | Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness expert Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines "What is mindfulness?" and discusses the hard work and rewards of practicing mindfulness.

Kids explain mindfulness

Kids explain mindfulness.

 
 
 

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