What is Mindfulness?

Helping-handIn simple terms, mindfulness is about noticing the world (both inner and outer), being present, curious, accepting and non-judgmental in our experience.

Mindfulness is an attentive, observant, and open attitude towards one’s own experience and mental and emotional states.

The theory and practice of mindfulness techniques has its roots in Buddhist meditation traditions, but has been developed further in modern contexts as a clinically proven approach to developing mental health and to controlling stress and pain. Mindfulness is a specific set of techniques that can be cultivated either through meditation classes or therapy and can be integrated into everyday life. It can be transformative beyond the solution of the specific problems and can enhance the quality of life as a whole.

The 14th Dalai Lama describes mindfulness as a comprehensive platform for developing self-regulation, self-exploration, and self-liberation.

Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn (2003), author of several books on the healing power of mindfulness practice and the creator of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program describes mindfulness as “Paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment”.

Our psychologists utilise mindfulness in therapy sessions. To make an appointment or find out more, freecall 1800 877 924.


Mindfulness to Reduce Stress

starfish-background.jpgMindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1979 by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, as a coping resource for patients dealing with intense physical symptoms, chronic pain, and difficult emotional situations.

MBSR involves an 8-week program of intensive training in mindfulness and its integration into everyday life, consisting of three components:

  • formal meditation (training and guided meditation sessions);
  • informal meditation (daily 10-15 minute mindfulness exercises, builds muscle of attention); and
  • yoga stretching.

Over the last 30 years Kabat-Zinn and Philipe Goldin, head of the Clinically Applied Affective Neuroscience Group, Stanford University, have done numerous studies, courses and conferences describing the many uses of MBSR in clinical settings.

Over 16,000 people with a wide range of disorders and difficult life situations have completed the program, and programs based on Kabat-Zinn’s model are now available throughout the world.

A number of studies have demonstrated positive attitudinal, health, and behavioral changes associated with MBSR, including improvements in psychological and physical well-being and reductions in anxiety and depression.

The MBSR program has also been adapted and integrated into a variety of other clinical and non-clinical settings with a high adherence rate. In addition, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy developed from MBSR has been shown to help prevent relapse into major depression.

To find out more about how mindfulness can help in reducing stress in your life, make an appointment with one of our psychologists by calling 1800 877 924.

Mindful Forgiveness

Mindful Forgiveness

Forgiveness often happens mindlessly in most relationships.

Being late home, not doing the laundry, getting drunk, making fools of themselves at parties – are all mindlessly forgiven. No effort involved normally, just give it a week or two and hey presto forgiven; probably not forgotten though.

Sometimes however there is such a major breach of trust that it is not so easily forgiven.

All of a sudden, forgiveness is being thought about. It changes from mindless forgiveness to more mindful, hard-work, forgiveness.

Mindful forgiveness is something we are not as experienced in, and leads us to ask questions like: “How do I forgive?” and “How do I move on?”.

Here are some thoughts to help you as you ponder the whole concept of forgiveness:

  1. What does forgiveness mean to me?
  2. Who am I forgiving and why?
  3. If I forgive what benefit will there be? What are the detrimental aspects of forgiving?
  4. Have I ever been forgiven? What was that like?
  5. What rule has been broken this time that is so unacceptable to me?

Clinical Psychologist Dr David Wells has written an excellent article about Mindful Forgiveness. Why not take a few moments to read through it now?

Spirituality and Mindfulness

Spirituality and Mindfulness

Sometimes people are fearful of mindfulness practices, wondering just what they are letting themselves in for.

Common questions include:

  • Do I have to be a Buddhist to practice mindfulness?
  • I’m not interested in spirituality, can mindfulness work for me?
  • I’m a Christian, I don’t want to get sucked into the whole eastern religions thing!

The fact is, modern research proves there are overwhelming benefits for body, soul and mind when the principles and practices of mindfulness are embraced. Don’t let fear cause you to miss out!

Clinical Psychologist Dr Alistair Campbell is just one of our therapists, passionate about mindfulness. In his article, “Separating Spirituality and Mindfulness“, he explores this fascinating subject in quite some depth, and whether it is possible to separate spirituality and mindfulness.