Advanced search


(21 Posts)
PhyllisDoris Wed 08-Mar-17 23:01:12

Probs not AIBU to those who "get it", but I don't.
I'm just back from a talk on mindfulness, and I still don't really get what it is.
It seems to be a buzz word for focus, understanding yourself, politeness, and being aware of other people's feelings.
A buzz word for wrapping lots of stuff together so that people can make money out of writing books about it.

Can anyone really explain what it is that I'm not understanding? And where this idea sprang from? It's everywhere!

PlayOnWurtz Wed 08-Mar-17 23:08:25

It's about being in the moment so focusing on the job you're doing at that given time. So if you're washing your hands you feel how the tap feels you note the temperature of the water and how it feels as it runs over your hands. It's about zoning out basically and only dealing with the present.

I find crafts help me, especially repetitive ones that require you to count or do the same thing again and again as I have to concentrate and no option but to 'get in the zone'

It's hard to do more than a minute or 2 if you've never done it before as it's very alien

shortandsweet1 Wed 08-Mar-17 23:08:41

The way I've learned about mindfulness is through mindfulness meditation. Being still and focussing on the present moment but being aware of what's going on around you. It's a relaxation/focussing technique that allows you to calm your mind. Unlike the usual meditation, where you empty your thoughts, you embrace feelings or thoughts you have and let them go without judgement.

It originates in Buddhist meditation but Jon Kabat Zinn brought it to the west. It's all about being mindful of your body and surroundings. Focussing on sounds, tastes...basically being aware of your senses.

PlayOnWurtz Wed 08-Mar-17 23:09:11

I was just about to say Kabat Zinn is the man to read.

shortandsweet1 Wed 08-Mar-17 23:10:30

'Getting in the zone' describes it perfectly. Like the flow you have when your immersed in a creative activity. When time flies by without you realising.

shortandsweet1 Wed 08-Mar-17 23:13:37

The politeness and being aware of people's feelings comes from being mindful of your actions but it's not necessarily related to mindfulness meditation.

MatildaTheCat Wed 08-Mar-17 23:15:29

As the pps have said , there are two elements as I understand it: living mindfully and practising mindfulness meditation. I find the living element easier.

Try to think about one thing only. Try not to multitask. Switch off alerts on your appliances and focus on what you are actually doing. Listen carefully. Watch carefully. Notice small things: smells, sounds, tastes etc.

It was a key part of pain management and I've since done more courses and it absolutely helps me. Having said that you have to actively engage in it. It calms a busy brain and can help to feel back in control. Try it.

FutureLearn do periodic Six week courses online free of charge which are excellent.

DJBaggySmalls Wed 08-Mar-17 23:16:39

Whats the difference between mindfulness and Zen?

Heratnumber7 Wed 08-Mar-17 23:21:00

"Focussing on the present moment" is just that though. What I'm struggling with whats the difference between "focussing on the moment" and mindfulness? Why do we need the word "mindfulness"? When i was young back when dinosaurs roamed the earth being mindfull meant not hurting people's feelings. -

Brighteyes27 Wed 08-Mar-17 23:21:50

I struggled with concept at first but I try it when out walking the dog I feel mindful on my own in the woods, noticing and enjoying the birds singing, leaves crunching or seeing them fall, sounds of trees aching, noises of little animals squirmishing away etc. I struggle to carry it over into every day life but I do feel very happy thankful and relaxed if I make a deliberate effort and start noticing and appreciating this time on my own.

Gingernaut Wed 08-Mar-17 23:22:40

You're absolutely right OP.

Mindfulness is a way of focusing in the 'here and now', either by distracting yourself with an object (look at this coin, see how shiny it is....), by deliberate meditation (tou are walking through the sun dappled trees of a forest...) or by focusing on what you're doing at that very moment (feel the sensations of your feet as you stand).

It's very fashionable right now and is being pushed by the NHS, more than likely because it's as cheap as chips.

It is an utterly useless 'complete' treatment' for something like PTSD, doesn't address the underlying causes of anxiety or depression but can be useful as a coping strategy for some.

Heratnumber7 Wed 08-Mar-17 23:22:44

Matilda if women people didn't multi task, I think the world would grind to a halt!

FuzzyFalafelz Wed 08-Mar-17 23:24:11


AfroPuffs Wed 08-Mar-17 23:24:31

No difference at all DJ

As usual the West steals something, gives it a new name and hey in minutes!

Heratnumber7 Wed 08-Mar-17 23:25:07

And thank you Ginger! The cynic in me thinks its all a bit of a con. I'm trying to understand if its because I don't understand IYSWIM.

Gingernaut Wed 08-Mar-17 23:27:46

I do have to admit I was partial to a group meditiation.

It was very relaxing.

For about 20 minutes......

shortandsweet1 Wed 08-Mar-17 23:32:02

There's a whole load of research on mindfulness helping people self regulate aggression and behavioural issues. That's why it's popular in prisons and with children.

Albadross Wed 08-Mar-17 23:35:20

Brighteyes I think 'squirmishing' is my new favourite word smile

Birdsgottaf1y Wed 08-Mar-17 23:36:24

I know more about Meditation and living in the here and now from a Buddhist perspective, but have read about Mindfulness.

There's been massive bodies of research done for decades and the findings are that the techniques can work as well as drug therapy, for some conditions.

The research also showed that it worked as well and better as some of the other therapies, counselling etc.

From every POV (scientific, psychological etc), the mental health of those that practiced the techniques, were increased.

fulloffunreally Wed 08-Mar-17 23:36:25

Doesn't work unless you are relaxed, but it is supposed to relax you.

Very difficult to focus on one thing and one thing only and breathe deeply at the same time when you are at the end of your rope! Probably requires lots of practice. The apps bore me. The voices are ridiculous to me and do nothing for me at all.

Will only work for those who don't really need it in the long run. It requires a calm mind to start off with IMV.

I have absolutely no patience with this kind of thing. So I am not really the right person to comment sorry. So I should focus on one thing at a time. LOL.

Not denigrating it, it obviously works for many people, but I have my doubts.

It is the fashionable messge du jour.

SukiPutTheEarlGreyOn Wed 08-Mar-17 23:43:29

Sometimes when we feel stressed or thoughts are racing it's because our mind is either going over stuff that's already happened or projecting/worrying about the future. Mindfulness is a series of techniques that help you anchor yourself to the present moment instead. It can be a bit like hitting the 'pause' button. You get an insight into how the physical impacts on what's going on in your mind and vice versa and it provides a bit of clarity and calm in a frenetic world. I find it effective but am not great at doing it regularly. It's easy to get ticked off by the fact it seems to be everwhere (mindful eating! mindful loo cleaning!) but if you wade past the hype you find a group of useful strategies to help you put aside a small amount of time in a busy day noticing, observing and living in the present moment.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: