Mindfulness

In recent years mindfulness techniques have gained steam in the counselling world after a string of clinical studies supported its effectiveness. GPs and counsellors are learning more about mindfulness and in many situations it is not only recommended, but also prescribed to those who could benefit. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has also clinically approved MBCT as a 'treatment of choice' for those with recurrent depression.

Mindfulness is a specific way of paying attention to what is happening in our lives in the present moment, as it truly is. Of course it won't eliminate life's pressures - but with practice it can help us take notice of (and hopefully stop) negative, habitual reactions to everyday stress.

The most common way this technique is practiced is through mindfulness meditation. This involves focusing on one’s breath while trying to reduce 'brain chatter'. Some people struggle with mindfulness meditation at first, finding it hard to focus their attention, but this is to be expected and may require practice. Practicing the technique regularly can help people take a step back, acknowledge their 'brain chatter' and view it accurately and without judgement.