Modern day life has left people feeling that they aren’t present in their own lives, between multitasking and coping with complex priorities. Mindfulness, which has its origins in Buddhism, can help people achieve balance in their life, react calmly to distressing situations and to address negative habits. Therapists teach clients techniques such as mindfulness meditation, which allows the client to focus on their senses and take an objective look at their daily chaotic thoughts. Other exercises such as Thai Chi and yoga can also help clients feel present in the here and now. This is believed to enable the client to reassess their habits and find better ways to cope with daily struggles in an aim to reduce overall stress.
Mindfulness can help with insomnia, chronic pain, eating disorders and addictions. Furthermore, sufferers of anxiety and depression may benefit from more complex mindfulness based therapies such as:
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) which combines mindfulness techniques with cognitive therapy. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has clinically approved MBCT as a ‘treatment of choice’ for those with recurrent depression.
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is often used to treat long-term stress. It teaches meditation and other gentle exercises which allow a client to see events with clarity and work with their emotions effectively. The Mental Health Foundation found that MBSR has resulted in a 70% reduction in anxiety and an increase in disease-fighting antibodies to name but a few benefits.
Mindfulness meditation is a technique which has received approval from many GPs.