Mindfulness guidance

“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” ― Rumi

It would appear that Mindfulness is getting more and more popular. This week, I have had numerous discussions and inquiries regarding it. People have asked me why I practice it; what the benefits of practice are; where did Mindfulness come from, etc.

There were two discussions that I’d like to share with you.

The first discussion was with a colleague whose partner had been referred to take up Mindfulness by their GP (General Practitioner). I did not ask the background as this is not appropriate. Rather I explained the two general streams of mindfulness practice. MBCT – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and MBSR – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a mindfulness-based program designed to assist people with pain, high levels of stress and life issues that were initially difficult to treat in a hospital setting. Developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in the 1970’s by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn, MBSR uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and yoga to help people become more mindful.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is the practice that I follow.

One of the concerns that my colleague had was was Mindfulness a religious based practice? While MBSR has its roots in spiritual teachings, the program itself is secular. THis put their concerns at rest and we finished off the discussion with me sharing a number of articles and away for their partner to find out more.

The other stream is Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). MBCT is a psychological therapy designed to aid in preventing the relapse of depression, specifically in individuals with major depressive disorder. Ruby Wax (the comedian and TV presenter) is a major proponent of MBCT due to her history of depression and is a qualified therapist. MBCT uses traditional cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) methods and adds in newer psychological strategies such as mindfulness and mindfulness meditation.

The second discussion was with a friend’s connection who is looking to develop a sports coaching business. He had heard of Mindfulness but wanted to know more. I explained the history and the difference between MBSR and MBCT. I pointed out that MBSR was the stream he needed to follow to help his athletes focus and be better competitors.

The example I gave was as follows:-

“Imagine that you are a golf player or a rifle shooter. You have to calm yourself before you take that shot. You have to become rested. Focused. In the present moment. All of these attributes are part of Mindfulness.”

As the definition of Mindfulness states:

 

Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally,” Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

Before you discount Mindfulness in the world of sport, I’d suggest you read the following article from the Daily Telegraph on the 7 things that Leicester City Football club used to help them win the Championship recently.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/work/leicester-city-premier-league-win-7-things-underdogs-leicester-c/

If you would like to know more about Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). How to start practicing. If you have started and come to a halt. Or any other queries, do get in touch.

I leave you with the following quote:

“This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor…Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” Rumi

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