Every year, Mental Health Awareness Week helps to raise awareness about the mental health and wellbeing issues that affect many of us across the UK. Taking place from the 11th until the 17th May, 2015 is focusing on Mindfulness.
There has a lot of media coverage surrounding mindfulness recently and how this type of therapy can be particularly beneficial to those who suffer from recurrent depression. What exactly is mindfulness however?
Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment rather than getting stuck in the past or worrying about the future. The great news about it is that is can be practised anywhere, for however long you want and it can be tailored to suit your own needs.
In fact, most of us will have practiced mindfulness at some point in our lives and probably didn’t even notice we were doing it. Going for a walk and losing track of time, listening to a song and focusing on nothing but how much you’re enjoying the melody or getting so engrossed in a film or television programme that you completely forget to worry about the thing that was stressing you out all counts as being mindful.
Contrary to popular belief, mindfulness isn’t just about emptying your mind of negative thoughts and zoning out - it can mean different things to different people. The important thing to remember is that it helps people to observe the way they think and feel about their experiences regardless of whether they’re good or bad.
It’s this that helps us to change the way that we react to and manage stressful situations. In turn, this provides us with a valuable tool to stay mentally healthy which more and more evidence is proving really works. It has already shown to be successful when it comes to helping sufferers deal with stress, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and generally improving the enjoyment of people’s lives.