Thursday, 2 January 2020

What exactly is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness can be described as a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them without believing, for instance, that there's a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel.

Reading and writing poetry can help people become more mindful and can relieve stress, trauma, feeling down, and other well-being challenges.

It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much.

Paying more attention to your thoughts and feelings and to the world around you can improve your mental wellbeing. Some people call this awareness "mindfulness".

Professor Mark Williams says that mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment. He says, it's easy to stop noticing the world around us. It's also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living 'in our heads' – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour.

It's about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.

When we become more aware of the present moment, we begin to experience afresh things that we have been taking for granted.

Most of us have issues that we find hard to let go and mindfulness can help us deal with them more productively. We can ask: 'Is trying to solve this by brooding about it helpful, or am I just getting caught up in my thoughts?'

Awareness of this kind also helps us notice signs of stress or anxiety earlier and helps us deal with them better.

Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness.

Evidence suggests there are 5 steps people can take to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

1.      Connecting with other people
2.      Being physically active
3.      Learning new skills
4.      Giving to others
5.      Paying attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

Visit to see some examples of Tanka poetry.

Tanka poems are written to capture a single moment or emotion and are written about nature, the seasons, love, sadness and other strong emotions, using strong imagery with a focus on the 5 senses. Imagery is key and the words paint a picture in our minds.

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