Mental health matters
In a nutshell, mindfulness is about paying more attention to the present, than the past or future.
Its beginnings in Buddhist meditation, mindfulness has become a bit of a thing with a ton of guides, smartphone apps offering guided meditations, and counsellors and therapists keen to introduce you to its ways.
Our brain spends much of the time trying to plan, anticipate, and solve future which can lead to anxiety, stress and panic; eg:
- an upcoming interview
- a first date
- moving home
- coming out
- money problems
The brain's also pretty good at remembering the past. We play these things over and over in our mind which can lead to sadness, grief and depression; eg:
- a relationship that didn't end well
- a painful coming out experience
- a diagnosis
- losing someone close to you
- being bullied
Fixating on the past and/ or the future can add more crap to the real pressures of everyday life and our brains can often do both ... all the time ... and it can be exhausting!
Mindfulness interrupts this sort of thinking, allowing you to tune into what's going on now (in the present moment) and not rehash the past, imagine things which haven't happened yet, and/ or be overwhelmed by what's going on around us.
It also involves thinking about your thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment.
What is mindfulness? | Mind
Mindfulness | NHS Choices
What is mindfulness and how can mindfulness help me? | Mental Health Foundation
Mindfulness | Wikipedia
All it takes is 10 mindful minutes | Andy Puddicombe | TED | 11 Jan 2013 | 9m 24s
Mindfulness | BBC Radio 4
Should I try mindfulness? | BBC 2
The madness of mindfulness | FT Magazine | 3 Feb 2017
Forget mindfulness, stop trying to find yourself and start faking it | The Guardian | 9 Apr 2016
Mindfulness: does it really live up to the hype? | The Telegraph | 19 Oct 2014
The Scientific Power of Meditation | AsapSCIENCE | 18 Jan 2015 | 2m 59s