What it is…
Mindfulness is training for the brain.
We can practise ‘formally’ through mindfulness meditation or ‘informally’ by simply being more mindful. This is by focusing fully on the present moment, noticing what is happening, without getting caught up in our thoughts and expectations about how things should be.
“Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally to things as they are.”
Williams, Teasdale, Segal and Kabat-Zinn (2007)
The benefits of Mindfulness
Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to make a positive contribution to health and wellbeing in areas such as stress reduction and pain management. It has been shown to increase performance, improve communication and result in better focus and concentration.
Regular practise can help us to
- Build a healthy and effective mind
- Being able to bounce back from adversity and grow
- Optimising brain function and sharpening focus
- Making better decisions with clarity and discernment
- Build emotional intelligence
- Increasing self-awareness to shift behaviours and unhelpful thinking
- Understanding and gaining control of emotions for a calmer state of mind
- Developing compassion and empathy
- Build a better world
- Connecting with others – improving relationships and communication
- Increasing ethical awareness, letting go of unconscious bias and improving social responsibility
- Being at peace with ourselves – increasing happiness
How it works (the science bit!)
Research has shown that what we do and what we experience changes our brain (neuroplasticity). Practising mindfulness has been shown to change the brain for the better, improving areas involved in paying attention and regulating our emotions.
The accepted psychological model of how mindfulness works is based on ‘re-perceiving’ or ‘de-centering’, which is defined as a shift in perspective associated with decreased attachment to one’s thoughts and emotions.
This means we are more ‘in control’, better able to deal with the pressures without getting caught up in the narrative in our heads, hi-jacked by our emotions. We are able to gain perspective, see things clearly and respond more calmly and skilfully.
Mindfulness for Individuals
There are many reasons to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives from reducing stress, improving mood and increasing focus to feeling happier.
You may wish to practise mindfulness to help you cope better with everyday stresses, deal with a specific issue or you may just be curious.
You certainly don’t need anything to be wrong with you to benefit from practising mindfulness.
It is a great way to exercise your brain and build mental fitness.
Mindfulness for Organisations
There is no doubt that modern living is stressful, with many demands and expectations. While we all want to succeed, be fulfilled and happy, this is often not the case.
Scientific research supports that mindfulness ameliorates stress, anxiety and depression.
Not only does mindfulness increase resilience, it has also been shown to enhance cognitive functioning leading to better focus and emotional intelligence leading to improved relationships and collaboration.
Free Mindfulness Resources
Curious…? Why not start now to ‘Tame your brain’ using some of our mindfulness practices? Just sign up to our quarterly newsletter to gain access.
What people are saying
“Gail manages to combine an accessible introduction and practical taste of mindfulness with relevant theory and evidence to back it up. I’ll certainly be asking her back for more.”
Dr Graham Easton – GP Trainee Course Director
“I tried Mindfulness with digital guides in the past and mostly ended up giving up after an enthusiastic but short try.
Gail’s mindfulness course was really eye opening. It started from simple exercises and gradually moved to more involved practice while also going through the science behind mindfulness in a methodical and clear way.
Gail is passionate about mindfulness, a clear communicator, open minded and caring. The opportunity to discuss some of my own experiences and questions with her and benefit from her thoughtful tips was invaluable. It helped me understand that mindfulness is a way of life, develop the skills I need, and really experience its benefits especially when dealing with challenging times.”
Fenia – Online mindfulness training
Read more testimonials here…
“Very useful programme… pleased to be able to incorporate mindfulness into my life to help my general well-being, to tackle stress and general pressure of work/ life balance.”
Manager – Global F&B Company
“I really enjoyed the mindfulness session at Aviva today. It was very eye-opening and I feel excited at the prospect of starting mindfulness.”
William – Aviva
“Mindfulness has helped me take time to think carefully, so the solutions I come up with are better. I’ve felt a change my approach to life and work.”
Sarah Engleby – Law Firm
“Thank you for organising the mindfulness session. I’m using it in my practice lots and have convinced some of the partners in the practice too! Feedback has been positive – a brilliant experience!”
Course Participant – General Practitioner
“I initially trained with Gail as I wanted to be able to help my patients with their sleep through mindfulness, which has good evidence in this area. I was not expecting to experience such significant changes in my own life, however. Gail’s approach is so pragmatic and she understands the busy professional and I found training with her inspiring. Incorporating a mindfulness-based approach has undoubtedly made me a better clinician, but also a better parent, partner and a calmer and happier person.”
Alanna – Consultant Physician
“When I first started mindfulness I hadn’t realised just how messy my life had become. Between juggling work, friends and university I had lost the ability to listen to my own thoughts. Mindfulness has helped me to rediscover the world through a calmer mind and to achieve and overcome circumstances beyond my belief.”
Sanya – Medical Student, Imperial College
“I would like to feedback how brilliant I thought the course was! I found it so informative and supportive and actually am feeling much better in myself from it.”
Helen – Nuffield Health
“Thank you very insightful and lots of great ideas to find a sense of calm in a busy world.”
Health care worker
“I have a technique to use at difficult times.”
Professor – University of Southampton
“Very useful programme… pleased to be able to incorporate Mindfulness into my life to help my general wellbeing, to tackle stress and general pressure of work/ life balance.”
“Colleagues gave some great feedback on the session when asked about their favourite part of the day through our away day survey: The Mindfulness session, as a tool to help everyday focus in busy and stressed environment.”
Department for Culture Media and Sport – Away day
“Thank you for delivering a really interesting and thought provoking course. It has certainly influenced the way I interact with clients and has been very positive.”
Physiologist – Nuffield Health CPD day
“A calmer outlook while at work and outside. The feeling that I am more resilient to stress, change and uncertainty. Better concentration and less mental fatigue at the end of the working week.”
Nuffield Health employee