Mindfulness is basically ‘present moment awareness’ with a particular attitude toward paying attention to the present moment. Fortunately, the attitudes we practice in mindfulness are inherent in all of us so it’s not a completely new ‘skill’ we need to learn. These attitudes include awareness, non- judgement, acceptance, open-sense of curiosity, non-attachment and compassion. Mindfulness training involves cultivating these attitudes through meditation/ breathing exercises, group discussions, and movement exercises. It may sound simple, but the training takes dedication and commitment, but the rewards are worth it. The practice enables one to experience life more fully, and not be consumed by concerns about the past or future.
By being aware of the present moment there is a sense of space to make choices, and respond to situations in a healthier way, rather than react to them. Peter Malinowski of Liverpool University refers to this as ‘cognitive space’ (your mind feels less cluttered) and allows for more emotional and cognitive flexibility.
Care workers from Unique Home-Care Services participated in a Mindfulness Pilot Study delivered by Inessentia Mindfulness in an endeavour to improve their well-being. During interviews about how they used mindfulness after completing the programme they described how they experienced an improved sense of well- being. Care workers were not the only ones to benefit as they described how they were able to form meaningful relationships with clients as they were fully engaged with them. They also used mindfulness as a strategy to manage stress and emotions. Subsequently Unique has continued with in-house mindfulness training.