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    Mindfulness Courses in Devon

    What is Mindfulness?

    Gentlemind is pleased to offer Mindfulness Meditation (MBSR) courses in Mid Devon.  So then, what is Mindfulness?  By following structured and scientifically proven Mindfulness techniques, we can foster a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and environment.  Mindfulness is simply a way of paying attention to, and seeing clearly whatever is happening in our lives.

    When we practice mindfulness, we focus on what we are sensing in the present moment rather than dwelling in the past or imagining the future. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we recognise our thoughts and feelings without judging them.

    The video on this page is a good introduction into what Mindfulness is all about.

    Mindfulness courses in Devon - Cartoon of an adult with a cluttered mind and a child with a focused uncluttered mind
    Image by Heidi Forbes Oste

    So, rather than reacting automatically, we can learn to respond  in a calmer manner that benefits our heart, head, and body.

    Jon Kabat Zinn defines mindfulness as:

    “Paying attention; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.”

    These habitual, often unconscious reactions to everyday events are a condition of mind we often refer to as being on ‘autopilot.’  Being on ‘autopilot’ is like being in a dreamlike state because in that mode we are simply not fully ‘there’ in that moment.  How often have you eaten a meal, only to finish and realise that you havn’t savored even one mouthful because your mind was somewhere else, or arrived at you destination and not remembered the journey for the same reason? Scary when you are driving!

    Clearly, living in this way, we often fail to notice the beauty of life and fail to acknowledge what our bodies are telling us and all too often we can become stuck in conditioned ways of thinking and living that may increase our vulnerability to anxiety, stress and depression.

    So, by practicing Mindfulness we can re-learn to live our lives in the present. Mindful attention is completely engaged in the present moment experience – the here and now. We let go of the tension caused by wanting things to be different, the tension of constantly wanting more, and instead we accept the present moment as it is. This is not about letting go of aspirations or becoming complacent but more about responding appropriately to the events in our lives, without judgement, rather than reacting in a ‘mindless’ automatic and thoughtless manner.

    Below are some of the many benefits of having a sustained and regular meditation practice:

    • Significant improvements in emotional and social functioning for adults and children
    • Improvements in general health and vitality
    • Reduction in visits to a healthcare provider
    • Effective method of stress reduction
    • Reduction in psychological distress for sufferers of long term conditions
    • Reduction in blood pressure in patients with mid to moderate hypertension
    • Significant reduction in blood pressure amongst healthy adolescent students
    • Significant reduction in anxiety for students leading up to and during exams
    • Significant long-term improvement in anxiety levels among patients suffering from anxiety disorders
    • Reduced intake of pain relieving medications amongst chronic pain sufferers
    • Reduced levels of depression and anxiety after an eight week mindfulness programme

    There is a wealth of peer reviewed research from academic institutions world-wide referencing Mindfulness, so please visit our Evidence page to find out more.

    Gentlemind offers Mindfulness courses in Devon to adults and also to young people in schools through the Mindfulness in Schools Project, Paws b curriculum.