Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Telegraph News: Now's the moment for mindfulness

Judith Woods of the Telegraph's Health>Wellbeing section wrote a piece on mindfulness as "the acclaimed technique" on 31 December 2012, titled: Now's the moment for mindfulness.

The following quotes presented a very optimistic and surprisingly accepting angle from a mainstream British newspaper which has a reputation for being politically right-leaning:
"Mindfulness. If you’re not yet au fait with the concept, it might be a good idea to familiarise yourself with it now, because you’ll be hearing a lot about it in 2013; from business leaders, academics, politicians and educationalists."
"It has been discussed in Parliament as a therapy in relation to both unemployment and depression. But it isn’t about zoning out. If anything, it’s about zooming in; paying attention to the present and decluttering the brain to make room for creativity – and in business that means boosting the bottom line.
To that end, mindfulness training has been embraced by organisations as diverse as Google, Transport for London, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Home Office, by way of an antidote to the relentless pressure and information overload common in many workplaces"
"The technique draws on the breathing exercises commonly used in meditation and yoga, but there the comparison ends. The aim is to become more aware of thoughts and feelings, in a non-judgmental way, so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, we can manage them better. It may sound deceptively airy-fairy, but make no mistake, this isn’t about chanting and there’s no cross-legged spirituality involved. The US military (hardly a bastion of hippiedom) offers marines mindfulness training before they are deployed, in recognition that it is an effective form of mental discipline.
The principles and practice of “mindful leadership” are taught at Harvard, while Oxford University’s dedicated Mindfulness Centre is carrying out research into its clinical and general health benefits."
"The World Health Organisation recently stated that by 2030, mental health issues will form the biggest burden on health care resources including heart conditions and cancer."
"Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) for preventing relapse in patients with recurrent depression, and is successful in half of all cases. Such findings have been backed up by neuroscience."
"“I used to teach at a highly academic independent girls’ school, and I found that by introducing mindfulness into lessons, it had a profound effect on the students’ anxiety levels, their confidence and their concentration,” says Claire Kelly, a mindfulness practitioner who is now involved with the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP), a not-for-profit body that runs an eight-week programme in schools.
“Teaching mindfulness to young people gives them crucial tools to deal with the pressures of life. It’s empowering, and once they know how to do it, they can draw on it whenever they need to.”
Tonbridge School in Kent and Hampton School in Middlesex were the first British schools to include mindfulness in the curriculum for all 13- and 14-year-olds in 2010. Since then, more schools here and abroad have become involved, and in March the International Mindfulness in Schools Conference 2013 will take place in London, and it is hoped that the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, will attend.
“I think mindfulness training should be made available to every child,” says Kelly. “Once you’ve seen the tangible effect it has on behaviour and performance, it makes complete sense to incorporate it into school life and beyond.”
So if you would like to enter 2013 with enhanced emotional equilibrium, a greater sense of perspective and a feeling that you can cope with the challenges the year will bring, mindfulness could well be the way forward. You have nothing to lose but your stress."

No comments:

Post a Comment