Mindfulness/ Meditation: should be available on prescription was a headline which caught my eye (Tuesday 5.1.10 The Guardian). Meditation is a term which brings to mind Eastern religious images. It is a deceptively simple concept. Often in my trainings and therapy I start explaining it in words, then at some point say
“Oh just let me show you what I mean, sit comfortably, with your eyes open or closed…”
In the mindfulness sessions I started to run in Leicester, I noticed a wide variety of people attending, from social workers, nurses, lecturers to students form the local University. At times I would finish work, feeling exhausted, I would drag myself to deliver the session. Then something wonderful would happen. After a 40 minute session I would experience a sense of well-being (I hope the participants did too). There would be an opportunity to speak to some of the participants who wanted to share ideas and ask questions. By the time I made my way home I felt energised, refreshed and in a great mood.
Some people who have recovered from depression and anxiety worry about possible relapse of their problems. Research is showing Mindfulness based therapies can help prevent relapse. People learn skills to use themselves in times of pressure or when working too hard.
So what is it? (more…)