Mindfulness is very much in the news these days as a means of finding tranquility in our increasingly stressful world. Big business too is beginning to take it seriously as a way to ensure the well-being of their staff (although it is to be hoped that they are approaching it from altruistic motives, rather than as a way to add even more to their frenetic daily life). The idea is very simple: Mindfulness means merely to be present in the here and now, paying full attention to whatever is happening around you and within you, free from distractions or judgement, with a soft and open mind.
In our modern lives we are subjected to many pressures; work, relationships, money, heath worries and information overload to name but a few. And it is not only what happens outside that causes problems. Merely thinking about what’s happening to us can cause stress. Ruminating about our circumstances, regretting the past and worrying about the future inevitably makes us feel worse.
The result of these internal and external pressures is that the brain’s reaction to real danger, the “fight and flight” mechanism, can be switched on all of the time. This isn’t good for us, and can lead to stress related illnesses, both physical and psychological. Once we become stressed, ruminations can become even more negative, and stress ends up producing yet more stress.
Mindfulness gives us a way of breaking out of this vicious cycle, by repeatedly turning gently away from thinking, and towards our sensory experience. Research show that these simple techniques dampen down the reaction to stress, and enhance activity in areas associated with well-being.
Evidence over more than three decades supports Mindfulness. It has been shown to have a positive effect on physical and psychological health, and to enhance focus, memory, creativity and compassion. It decreases the impact of living in a stressful world and helps us to be the best we can be.
Why not try mindfulness for yourself, at the taster sessions we hold here at The Terrace? Dr Miranda Bevis offers a mindfulness stress reduction programme (MBSR) which is designed to help you learn new ways of managing difficult physical sensations, feelings and moods and to live life more in the present moment.
Taster Sessions (£5):
Tues 14th Oct 6.30pm – 8pm or
Weds 15th Oct 9.30am – 1pm
8 week course dates will run from Tues 21st October 6.30pm-8pm and Weds 22nd October 9.15am – 11.30am, costing £225.