Learning to be mindful is about learning to be more aware of our moment to moment experience – our thoughts, bodily sensations and surroundings. Through this increased awareness, instead of being overwhelmed by our negative, unhelpful thoughts and feelings, we are better able to recognize them and respond in a calmer, more productive way. Mindfulness also teaches us to relate differently to the endless mental chatter many of us experience on a daily basis. The improved resilience we experience as a result, means that stressful occurrences have less impact on our happiness and wellbeing.
Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism and meditation, but in the last 20 years Mindfulness practices have been adapted to relieve stress, anxiety and physical pain and there is increasing scientific research that supports the practice for these conditions. In addition to these powerful health benefits, regular mindfulness practices can greatly improve our sense of well-being and happiness.