At Aberbeeg Hospital we promote a healthy and safe community ethos by encouraging all our Service Users and staff members to be mindful in their day-to-day living/practice.
We support the view that mindfulness can help people to:
- Stay calm and manage conflict and containment appropriately
- Remain focused and task/goal orientated
- Promote mental wellbeing
- Build psychological resilience
- Increase productivity
- Build and maintain positive relationships
- Better manage the pressures of daily life
What is mindfulness?
Have you ever noticed that when you are doing quite familiar and repetitive tasks, like driving your car, or vacuuming, that your mind is often miles away thinking about something else? You may be fantasising about going on holiday, worrying about some upcoming event, or thinking about any number of other things.
In either case you are not focusing on your current experience, and you are not really in touch with the ‘here and now.’ This way of operating is often referred to as automatic pilot mode.
Mindfulness is the opposite of automatic pilot mode. It is about experiencing the world that is firmly in the ‘here and now.’ This mode is referred to as the being mode. It offers a way of freeing oneself from automatic and unhelpful ways of thinking and responding.
Mindfulness is not ‘fluffy’ nonsense or ‘psycho-babble’, nor is it a passing fad.
The scientific evidence and clinical research that underpins mindfulness is strong and growing. It shows positive effects on several aspects of whole-person health, including the mind, the brain, the body, and behaviour, as well as a person’s relationships with others.
However, it does take effort and work to develop mindfulness skills and time to practice them. Mindfulness is not just meditation and can be embedded into a way of being.
Benefits of mindfulness
- By learning to be in a mindful mode more often, it is possible to develop new routines that help to weaken old, unhelpful and automatic thinking habits
- For people with emotional problems, these old habits can involve being overly pre-occupied with thinking about the future, the past, themselves, or their emotions in a negative way. Mindfulness, in this case, does not aim to immediately control, remove, or fix this unpleasant experience. Rather, it aims to develop a skill to place people in a better position to break free of or not ‘buy into’ these unhelpful habits that are causing distress and preventing positive action
- Feel less overwhelmed
- Improve sleep quality
- Increase ability to manage difficult situations
- Make wiser choices
- Reduce levels of anxiety
- Reduce levels of depression
- Reduce levels of stress
- Improve self-esteem and feelings of self-worth
- Reduce the amount of ruminating (chewing things over in one’s mind)
- Have greater self-compassion
“The present is the only time that any of us have to be alive – to know anything – to perceive – to learn – to change – to heal. Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgementally, to the unfolding of experience, moment by moment.”Jon Kabat Zinn
Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and author of ‘Full Catastrophe Living