Mindfulness in Waterford

If you haven’t had your head under a pillow for the digital age you’ve probably heard the word “mindfulness” crop up repeatedly.
Studies have linked it to improving depression, anxiety, insomnia, focus, strategy and more recently binge drinking. The US military is even running mindfulness classes. So what, in plain English is mindfulness? And what’s in it for you?

The word “mindfulness” comes from the translation of a Pali term, ’sati’. Buddhists consider ’sati’ to be a key factor in the process of enlightenment. It was translated into “mindfulness” by a British magistrate living in Sri Lanka in the 1880s. However ‘sati’ really translates into “memory of the present”. It is about bringing attention to the present moment, and not about “minding yourself” or “minding your manners”
It was only in the 1970s the term “mindfulness” became a Western trend. An American biologist called Jon Kabat Zinn saw that this practice could be beneficial to anyone; He thought that many secular people were being turned off mindfulness by its links to “enlightenment” or “reincarnation”. So he devised a much more simple definition: Mindfulness is “paying attention, on purpose, non-judgementally”.
Ciara Hudson runs Waterford Mindfulness. She holds a Masters in Mindfulness Based Interventions and teaches classes in Waterford city in MBSR ( mindfulness based stress reduction) and MBCT (Mindfulness based Cognitive Therapy).
According to Ciara: “Mindfulness is a way of being and we can be mindful anywhere, anytime in our daily lives. It’s about noticing what’s going on in your mind and body right now, without criticising it or wishing any of it was different.

So if mindfulness is a way of being, meditation is a formal practice we can do to strengthen our ability to be mindful.
Just like an athlete must train to build and maintain fitness, we can strengthen our own ability to be mindful, and meditation is a great way to do this.”
Not into meditation? That’s okay. This is just one way to practice mindfulness. Remember it can be brought into your daily life by simply noticing what’s going on with you; right here, right now. You can do the dishes mindfully. You can wait in traffic mindfully. Any routine activity can be made into a mindfulness practice when you bring your full attention to it.

“There are lots of benefits to mindfulness – too many to list!” says Ciara, and the research agrees with her. Studies have linked mindfulness based therapies to treatment of depression, anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, weight management, athletic performance and much more.
While further studies are needed over longer periods to determine the scope of its effects, undoubtedly mindfulness has produced positive results for a variety of issues.
So where should one start? Local mindfulness classes are a fantastic way to explore both formal and informal practice.

The next course in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) & Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) from Waterford Mindfulness will be taking place in the Waterford Arts Centre, New Street, Waterford City, starting on Wednesday, January 31st, and running each Wednesday until March 21st from 6pm to 8:30pm.

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