“Paying attention to something,
In a particular way,
In the present moment,
In brief, Mindfulness in Harlow can help you to:
Use your awareness to deal more effectively with stress
Choose your reactions as opposed to being enslaved to them
Develop breathing and meditation techniques to find a stable centre
Connect with a place of inner calm in the midst of pressure
Develop clarity and focus when you feel overwhelmed
Improve your relationships with others
Develop an increased sense of aliveness and energy
Learn to accept and let go of what you cannot change
Improve your health and well-being
Our brains are pre-programmed with an instinctive negative bias, which served us well in the early days of human evolution. The reason for this was survival and protection in the here and now and of our future race. This Fight/Flight/Freeze reaction still holds us in its grip today, and rightly so, leading us to try and manage stressful situations by matching them up with past events. If the mind can’t find an event then it will look for or create a possible future one. Thus, we are constantly being pulled around by thoughts, emotions and anxieties leading to increased stress levels, limiting beliefs and low mood.
Every thought we have has a direct effect on brain wiring, producing positive or negative neurochemicals, which in turn effect our mental and physical state. Mindfulness or Focused Attention Training is a way that we can pay attention to what we are thinking and doing in the present, suspending judgement and applying the intention of compassion and acceptance toward ourselves and others.
Neuroscientific research now shows that with just 8 weeks practice for 15 minutes a day we can change the plasticity of our brain. This change for the positive has a direct effect on our stress brain (Fight/Flight or Freeze), reducing the size of the Amygdala which in turn will start the flow production of the ‘happy chemicals’ that keep us calm and balanced.
In my counselling practice I strongly encourage the use of Mindfulness as a part of the therapeutic intervention and find that clients respond with a more positive attitude to their own recovery and at a much faster rate. The reason for this is because they now have a tool that they can understand and work with on a daily basis, knowing that this approach and attitude will bring the desired result they are looking for alongside their counselling sessions.