Mindfulness and Meditation

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a technique that is used in psychology that has roots in eastern philosophy. Mindfulness is aimed at cultivating awareness of the present moment and with acceptance, rather than judgement. Mindfulness can occur in a meditation format or when we undertake daily activities.

Mindfulness

What activities can you undertake?

During mindfulness you simply focus on the present, and do not judge your thoughts. You can do this by sitting in a meditation position and focusing only on your body (notice your muscles, your breathing). If a thought or image intrudes into your mind, notice that it has occurred, and slowly let the thought pass through your mind without judgement (it is difficult to stay in the present moment - don't let intrusive thoughts stress you). Slowly bring your attention back to the present.

You can apply mindfulness to many aspects of your life. Here is a list of activities that you may try. Pick 3 activities to try over the next week:

  • Pay attention to your breathing, nothing else, just breathing in and out
  • Notice sounds around you. What can you hear right now? 
  • Notice what you can feel, e.g. the feeling of your clothes, air on your skin
  • Really listen to your friend or whoever you are talking to
  • Hear the music or radio or TV and really connect with the words
  • Taste your food. What are the flavours? Smells? Colours? Textures?
  • Read slowly and try to focus. If your mind wanders, return your attention 
  • Pay attention whilst you brush your teeth or shave or have a shower
  • Walk with purpose and notice your body and surroundings
  • Pay attention when you drive. Take your mind away from impatient thoughts
  • Take your mind away from your concerns by focusing on your house chores

Videos

A long video that talks about the benefits of mindfulness

Do you enjoy the present moment or are you using that time to think about the past and future?

In what 'time zone' do you live? 

Audio (MP3)

Relaxation stream courtesy of UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center

  1. Breathing meditation
  2. Breath sound body meditation
  3. Complete meditation instructions
  4. Meditation for working with difficulties
  5. Loving kindness meditation

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Documents

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