This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, an event which aims to create awareness about mental health issues, remove stigma and encourage us to reflect on our own mental health. This year, the focus is ‘Mindfulness’. The concept is very simple: to be mindful we intentionally focus our attention on the moment in a non-judgemental way.
Human beings are naturally mindful (think about how a child views the world), but our minds have become un-accustomed to working in a ‘mindful’ way due to the challenges of modern life. We are constantly bombarded with information, which our minds need to process. We plan, analyse, ruminate, regret, worry and criticise ourselves. This constant chatter in our minds can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. It can also affect the choices we make. The practice of mindfulness has been proven to help with mental health issues like anxiety, stress and depression*
Practising mindfulness on a regular basis promotes self-awareness and can help us to be more objective and make clearer choices. The more you practise mindfulness, the easier it becomes – a couple of minutes a day is all you need to get started and it’s easier than you might think to incorporate a mindful activity into your day.
Please visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk for more information about Mental Health Awareness Week and Mindfulness.
* Taken from research study published by the University of Oxford in November 2013