mindfulness & meditation
We all recognise the importance of being physically fit, but with our increasingly busy lives and longer working hours it is important to look after our mental wellbeing. Mindfulness and meditation are useful tools to do this. While they are simple, accessible techniques many people can struggle. Here at the Integrity Centre we can help you develop your personal practice and reap the rewards.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness training is exercise 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.
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.
A Typical Session
We offer a free 20-minute consultation online to assess how we can help you.
A typical session is 60 minutes and is a combination of practise, enquiry and learning.
We will normally open with a short practice. This is typically your ‘current’ practice after which we will explore together how your practice is going. What is working? What is not working? What is coming up for you?
We will then consider moving your practice forward or addressing specific issues. New techniques and practices will be introduced together with their rationale and application.
There will be an opportunity to take any new practices and investigate your experience. We will close the session with a short practice.
How can Mindfulness help me?
Practising mindfulness for just 10 minutes a day changes the brain in a positive way improving cognitive performance, including increased ability to focus and concentrate, improved memory and ability to learn, and enhanced emotional intelligence.
Mindfulness reduces stress and builds resilience, improves relationships, as we become less reactive and more in control of our emotions, and improves performance, as we are more able to sustain focus.
Importantly, mindfulness allows us to be more fully engaged in our lives, and broadens our horizons as we are more able to see the choices available to us and make better decisions. This means we are happier, healthier and more likely to fulfil our potential.
Mindful individuals are less likely to be driven by self-interest, more able to see the wider context. They make better decisions, have better working relationships and bring out the best in others.
Increasing numbers of people are practising mindfulness for a wide variety of reasons, from reducing stress and anxiety, to managing mood and pain, to increasing cognitive and athletic performance. It is a skill that translates across all stages of life and is a useful tool for the challenges we face. You 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