What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is an integrative, mind-body based approach which involves paying attention to our thoughts and feelings so we become more aware of them, less enmeshed in them, and better able to manage them. It is not positive psychology, a means of escaping unpleasant feelings or a relaxation exercise, but an approach to life that can help people relate more skilfully to thoughts, emotions and body sensations as they arise.
Although commonly associated with Buddhism, developments in psychology and neuroscience support mindfulness as being an inherent part of the human mind that can be developed and enhanced through a meditative practice.
Being mindful helps us to train our attention. Our minds wander about 50% of the time, but every time we practice being mindful, we are exercising our attention "muscle" and becoming mentally fitter. We can take more control over our focus of attention, and choose what we focus on rather than passively allowing our attention to be dominated by that which distresses us taking us away from the present moment.
Mindfulness might simply be described as choosing and learning to control our focus of attention, and being open, curious and flexible. This increases awareness, clarity and acceptance of our present-moment reality.
Research has shown that when we incorporate mindfulness practice into our day-to-day activities, it can help rewire or reshape our brain and improve the quality of our life experiences.
Mindfulness research study published by the University of Oxford in November 2013, after one month:
- A 58% reduction in anxiety levels
- A 57% reduction in depressio
- A 40% reduction in stress
An RCT from the University of Surrey showed significant average reductions in work-related rumination, chronic fatigue and improvements in sleep quality for completers of a mindfulness course.
There is growing evidence, that mindfulness in the workplace can have a number of positive effects. These include a decrease in perceived stress, and an increase in better concentration levels including memory tasks and multi-tasking.
A mindfulness practice will cultivate:
- Improved ability to cope with the effects of illness
- Less worry, anxiety and depression
- Greater focus of awareness, compassionate listening and mental clarity
- Improved productivity
- Improvements in fatigue levels
- Enhanced emotional control, resourcefulness and resilience
- Greater capacity for relaxation and calmness
Mindfulness with Jessica Brookes:
Having qualified as a meditation facilitator and yoga teacher at the Laughing Lotus in New York, Meditation Centre in Pune and the Association of Yoga & Meditation (200hrs) in Rishikesh, since 2013 Jessica has facilitated yoga, meditation and mindfulness classes on a number of international retreats, festivals and workshops.
Her mindfulness coaching in London is tailored specifically to empower individuals with useful tools for the frantic urban environment.
Through weekly classes you will learn to:
- Stay in touch with the present moment and be less caught up in negative thoughts.
- Deepen your awareness and respond more skilfully to events in your life.
- Reduce and maintain at low levels; anxiety, depression and stress.
8 week mindfulness introductory course, 45 mins - 1 hour per week
It is important that individuals understand that mindfulness classes are not designed to be relaxation classes, a group therapy session or a “quick fix”, but a courses which teaches a valuable life skill, the development of which is nurtured through attendance of the course. As with any new skill learning it will be most beneficial if one is able to practice regularly.
Each week we will sit together in a guided practice using a variety of meditation, breath work and mindfulness techniques. I will suggest tasks that will help to develop mindfulness skills, and strongly recommend attendees put aside some time for these tasks each day, so as to support the integration of mindfulness into daily life.
One-to-one (Skype) / Fulham Studio - £35 per session (£280 total)
Corporate Classes - £80 per group session