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  • Katie Fobbester

Mindfulness: What is it and What is it Good For?

You have most likely heard about mindfulness and have possibly even been a little curious about it. Put simply, mindfulness is exercise for the mind. Being mindful means noting what is arising, and as best you can, just letting it be. Easier than it sounds!

We sat down with Katie Fobbester, a trained mindfulness teacher, and asked her a few questions about mindfulness.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, without being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us, accepting it without judgement.

That might seem trivial, or obvious, except for the fact that we so often veer from the matter at hand. Our mind takes flight, we lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future. And that can make us anxious. Mindfulness is now being examined scientifically and has been found to be a key element in stress reduction and overall happiness.

How does mindfulness differ from meditation?

Mindfulness and meditation are mirror-like reflections of each other, mindfulness supports and enriches meditation, while meditation nurtures and expands mindfulness. Mindfulness is your awareness of what's going on in the present moment without any judgment. Meditation Is the training of attention which cultivates that mindfulness. Where mindfulness can be applied to any situation throughout the day, meditation is practiced for a specific amount of time regularly.

Why is mindfulness good for you?

There are a number of benefits to mindfulness - here are just a few:

1. Mindfulness improves overall well-being. Increasing your capacity for mindfulness supports many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life. Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events.

2. Mindfulness improves physical health. Scientists have discovered that mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways. It can help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, , improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.

3. Mindfulness improves mental health. In recent years, psychotherapists have turned to mindfulness meditation as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems including depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, couples conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Join our Mindfulness Course

Curious to learn more? Katie will be leading a six-week mindfulness course, starting on Saturday 22 October. Each week will build upon the lessons from the previous one. In each session, you will be lead through both mindfulness theory and practice. Click HERE to learn more!

About Katie

A health and fitness industry veteran and mother of 5 children, Katie connected to yoga to find calm amidst stresses and strains of a large family and busy life. She qualified as a yoga teacher with Lumi Power Yoga.

Katie did her formal mindfulness training with Pete Cherry, a Zen Buddhist, and then took a course with the Oxford school of mindfulness. There she studied a combination of MBSR (mindful based stress reduction) and MBCT (mindful based cognitive therapy) mindfulness techniques.

Katie feels that you can only learn so much from others, the real learning comes from self discovery of your own practice. 'My mindfulness practice is the most valuable tool I have in my life.'

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