Mindfulness: Paying attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you.
Have you heard of it? Mindfulness is a very simple concept, which can have profound results. There’s renewed appreciation for this ancient form of meditation, with studies finding that regular practice can improve mental wellbeing, mood and reduce stress (NHS 2015).
Art therapists are also exploring the intrinsic links between art therapy and mindfulness: many art-therapy approaches are inherently mindfulness-based; when we make and reflect on art work, we are also slowing down to pause and get in touch with what we really feel and think in that moment (and not just our stock answers of what we ‘think we think’). Mindful art therapy practice is a super-highway to self-awareness, personal growth and opportunities for change!
There’s nothing quite like learning and practicing mindfulness with the support of others, whether it’s by signing up to a meditation course or being sensitively supported by a qualified therapist. The Local Counselling Centre in Letchworth (Hertfordshire) offers both art therapy and 8-week Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) courses.
For those of you who want a less formal taster of mindfulness, there are online sites and apps a-plenty. One such organisation is Headspace.com, which defines itself as ‘Your very own personal trainer…gym membership for the mind’. Creating Healthy Minds is giving away TWO vouchers for a one-month Headspace experience. Just drop us an email to claim yours*: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Free vouchers are available on a first come first served basis, so be quick!
NHS (2015) http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/mindfulness.aspx