Jenny Buckwell (MBACP)
Counsellor in Walton-on-Thames

Mindfulness for working with Depression and Stress

“Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life" Thich Nhat Hanh

Our minds are always busy, when we try to sit for a few moments and rest our minds, we often find that stillness slips away and a chain of thought has taken us back into the past or racing through the future.

When these thoughts are troubling, they can impact on how we interpret and respond to the world around us. They can overwhelm the reality of the moment, making problems appear greater and undermine our confidence.

Developing the art of mindfulness naturally supports the emergence of a quieter mind, freed from excessive anxiety, anger, sadness and with greater access to joy.

The opposite of mindfulness is mindlessness. Mindlessness is a loss of awareness. It means that you are not aware of what is happening around you or even what you are doing at times (have you ever found yourself unable to recall that journey you have just driven?)

There are many ways to become more mindful in our lives. It sometimes happens spontaneously in our daily life, when focused on an absorbing activity like sport, say tennis. The concentration can become narrow and laser-like, with perfect timing to hit the ball (in the zone); and there is also a wider, panoramic awareness of our experience in the game, here and now…in this moment.. This is a skill and can be cultivated and brought into daily life with practice.

When we are aware, we are mindful not only of what we are doing but the feelings, the emotions that are arising and what's happening within us and around us here and now…in this moment.

I have found developing a personal mindfulness practice very helpful in my work, and have supported clients who wish to acquire mindfulness skills and/or develop a mindfulness practice.

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

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