Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way:
on purpose in the present moment,
and non- judgmentally.
Jon Kabat- Zinn
Mindfulness is not only for those who feel that they are suffering from the overwhelm and undercapacity to cope.
Mindfulness is also a powerful tool for positive thinking, creative actions and active achieving.
By practicing mindfulness you can build a lasting mental awareness and insight into yourself and the world around you.
The regular daily practice of mindfulness changes the way your brain operates. It opens a spaciousness and gentle feeling within you. Not one of those tight 'effort to trying to' feelings but more of the experience the long outbreath in this moment.
it is not restricted to just when you practice, the feeling becomes part of you, a resource you can tap into both unconsciously and consciously, this aspect of being more present with yourself and those around you becomes a new way of being.
Mindfulness is essential not only for adults to have a fulflling life but is an essential tool for children to be able to navigate the challenges they are going to encounter as they grow into adulthood.
Children today are undergoing formidable demands on their young minds. There is so much out there for them. The noise of the digital age is deafening, confusing and often disheartening.
When I hear that the young are suffering from stress, anxiety and mental ill health my heart just saddens. Did you know that 1 in 10 of school children have a diagnosable mental health problem.
And that 70% of these children do receive the care and treatment from the NHS they need.
In the confusion I truly believe that mindfulness practice is one of the only ways to antidote this growing epidemic. Learning to be mindful, in the purest way, is a skill. It is the creation of a new neural pathway, a mind habit, of being able to see how things truly are and not what you think they are.
It might seem like a simplistic statement but many of our emotional troubles are linked to our perception and view of the world. For the most part these views are generated from the memory and the ‘clever monkey mind’ reviewing the past and projecting into the future. A practical way of surviving but a poor way of navigating actually what is happening in the moment, for many of our worries anxieties an fears are generated by the ‘what if…’scenario.
When we learn to quieten our mind and experience the actuality of the moment many of the assumed disasters evaporate into the ‘thought projections from where they came’. Leaving us observing and experiencing the actuality of the moment, the what is of the now.
This is easy to say and easy to write about but it is a bit more difficult to live in reality.
This is what mindfulness practice is about. It is the creation of a skill, a habit , a new neural pathway of responding to what is happening rather than reacting to what we think or fear is happening.
When we do mindfulness practice it is a likened to going to the gym, the mind gym. Similar to the physical gym to get fit you have to work out, an once you have worked out then the fitness will stay with you. In this way you progressively build a greater depth of strength and fitness.
With the mind gym we do the same. We sit and practice ‘doing nothing on purpose’. This allows the mind to slow down, to focus on what is and this in turn builds the skill of having insight and spaciousness of perception, meta-consciousness. This over time becomes a deep and fixed neural habit which goes with us into our daily life as a more considerate interaction with our day our thoughts and those around us.
How does this help children? Under the age of 5 most children live in the present. They are predominantly mindful. As they enter into ‘teenagership’ so they progressively lose their ability to be present and start to believe that they are what others think of them or what is written on face book , Instagram and snapchat. This can lead to internal conflict, confusion and unhappiness.
Through allowing them, with mindfulness practice, to regain a ore balance experience of themselves, they can reintegrate themselves with themselves. They can and do re empower themselves with their own inner voice and wisdom. Children are not stupid, they are at present overwhelmed and befuddled with the extreme of informations. However given the space and opportunity to ‘come home’ to themselves they will regain the balance energy and insight to help them through the challenges which lie ahead for them.
Mindfulness creates space in their minds for them to be themselves , to enjoy the feelings of being who they really are and seeing how they can take back control of the way they think and how they value their family , friends and reality.
It really does work.
Before I started doing mindfulness I was very anxious and didn’t have a lot of confidence. I believe it has helped me apply for universities, write my personal statement without getting very stressed. It has also helped me to stay calm in my interviews and I have had two offers so far. It does take a lot of practice but it has really helped me out. Thanks Huw” OB (18yr)
“ Mindfulness has been a really positive experience for me and my son. I think we should all do it, the hard thing is the practice but it definitely pays off. It isn’t rocket science but so effective and is accessible for everyone in a non invasive way. I really enjoyed the course and learnt a lot about myself and my son and also our relationship. Many thanks Huw” CB
For more information on courses for children an teenagers call Huw on 07787870841