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Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an important part of mental wellbeing; it helps us to pause and asses this fast-paced world around us, to better understand our emotions and our feelings. Practising mindfulness regularly can help reduce stress and improve mood; it can also help teachers to become more emotionally alert, to listen more attentively, communicate more clearly, and increase our self-awareness and awareness of others.

Mindfulness is an integrative, mind-body based training that helps people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences. It helps us to focus on our current state by blocking out the past and stop us thinking about the future. It helps us breathe and appreciate the moment we are in now and is recommended for highly stressed people. 

Mindfulness exercises include meditation, Tai Chi and yoga. Training helps us become more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and our body sensations so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, we can manage them better. Practising mindfulness gives more insight into emotions, boost attention and concentration, and improve relationships.

Mindfulness and mental health
Mindfulness is proven to assist people with poor mental health as well as those who want to improve their mental state and wellbeing.

There are different sorts of mindfulness meditation which can help people in differently. Evidence shows compelling support for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which helps people to cope with stress, and for Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), which is designed to help people with recurring depression. They provide a flexible set of skills to manage mental health and support wellbeing.

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The evidence for mindfulness
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to affect how the brain works and even its structure. People undertaking mindfulness training have shown increased activity in the area of the brain associated with positive emotion – the pre-frontal cortex – which is generally less active in people who are depressed.

Hundreds of studies have shown changes in brain wave activity during meditation and researchers have found that areas of the brain linked to emotional regulation are larger in people who have meditated regularly for five years. The evidence for different types of mindfulness is promising and researchcontinues to grow.

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Mindfulness and mental health

Mindfulness is recommended as a treatment for people with mental ill-health as well as those who want to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

There are also different sorts of mindfulness meditation which can help people in different ways. Evidence shows compelling support for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which helps people to cope with stress, and for Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), which is designed to help people with recurring depression. They provide a flexible set of skills to manage mental health and support wellbeing.

The evidence for mindfulness
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to affect how the brain works and even its structure. People undertaking mindfulness training have shown increased activity in the area of the brain associated with positive emotion – the pre-frontal cortex – which is generally less active in people who are depressed.

More than 100 studies have shown changes in brain wave activity during meditation and researchers have found that areas of the brain linked to emotional regulation are larger in people who have meditated regularly for five years. The evidence for different types of mindfulness is promising and research has grown in recent years.

Despite its proven successes, access to face-to-face mindfulness training is still limited. We are campaigning for mindfulness practice to be widely available in every school. But we have still got a long way to go before we can make this dream a reality. We hope you will join us this year in taking part and raise awareness to the many activities that we do!

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