Read our posts about mindfulness

Why You Should Sometimes Take Things For Granted

Why You Should Sometimes Take Things For Granted

If you were lucky, you got through your childhood with no major traumas, except for the odd domestic here and there. If you were one of these lucky people, your childhood was a time of taking things for granted; that your life was safe; that your parents were alive (and were going to stay that way forever); and that your home provided everything you needed.  This is likely to have provided you with a sense of abundance and safety. On balance, everything was probably going to be okay. If you are less lucky, your levels of resilience influence how secure and abundant...
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How Meditation Cured Dan Harris's Panic Attacks

How Meditation Cured Dan Harris's Panic Attacks

US journalist Dan Harris’s on-screen meltdown radically altered his life. Before his nationally broadcast panic attack on ABC news, Harris was your average over-worked, professionally anxious reporter. He’d joined the network at the extremely young age of 21, and was  thrown into the deep end when he was sent to Afghanistan to cover the Taliban. After a long stint dodging bullets in Afghanistan and then Pakistan, he returned home to a studio-bound job  with a severe case of undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder. He dealt with this by dosing himself up on...
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Floating: Technologically Assisted Mindfulness

Floating: Technologically Assisted Mindfulness

When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for two hours? I’m not talking about lolling on the couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I’m talking about doing nothing - minimising distractions to the degree that all you are left with is your own mind. This can be achieved through “Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy” (REST) – in short, what happens when you immerse yourself in a flotation tank. In a previous post I spoke about how technology can get in the way of mindfulness. But what if technology might also offer us a quicker and more direct experience of...
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Mindfulness Tames the Monkey Mind

Mindfulness Tames the Monkey Mind

I screwed up. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good either, and it was entirely my fault. In the vernacular of my youth, I dropped the ball, hard. So, naturally I gave myself a hard time about it. And then, I gave myself a hard time about it again. Whenever I thought of it (and it was a lot) the worry and shame came, the adrenaline and cortisol burned in my chest, and I chased the disturbing thought down the rabbit warren of my emotional interior. Funny, that, as I’d been practicing mindfulness for some time and I thought I’d got the hang of it. Yeah, right. The thing...
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Fertility and Mindfulness

Fertility and Mindfulness

In my role as a fertility expert I help women through the difficult and often all-consuming emotions they can experience while trying to conceive or going through fertility treatment. Women seem instinctively aware that their emotions can impact on their fertility. Sometimes they will say to me things like: ‘I’m stressed that I am stressed, because I know it’s bad for me!’ Through out our lives we will experience times of intense emotional difficulty and sometimes unimaginable stress. This is part of the human condition and in many ways how we cope and adapt to these...
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Help Beat Depression by Reading Poetry

Help Beat Depression by Reading Poetry

We are sent what we need. So it proved recently when I finished an eight-week mindfulness course with the inspirational Anna Black, teacher and author of Living in the Moment with Mindfulness Meditations. I suspected she believed in the healing power of words as she had introduced several poems on our course. As I was leaving her class one rainy Tuesday evening recently, I told her that I shared her enthusiasm for poetry.  It transpired that she had written a dissertation looking at the therapeutic role of poetry in the teaching of mindfulness as part of her Masters...
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Feeling Present & Grounded in the Now

Feeling Present & Grounded in the Now

Time to stand and stare seems in increasingly short supply in the dizzy digital age. Many of us feel more time-poor and more pressured than ever. The ability to pull yourself together at a moment’s notice, to gather your focus and your presence so you can emanate calm and confidence is a core skill-set for the modern age. Here are some tips to help you find your centre of gravitas. Find your roots – and your wings: The Sanskrit word guru means “one who cannot be pushed over”. If you want to emanate grounded presence, think gravity – and its oppositional forces, the...
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How to Meditate: Discovering Headspace

How to Meditate: Discovering Headspace

In his book Headspace: 10 Minutes Can Make All The Difference, Andy Puddicombe writes: "This is meditation, but not as you know it. There's no chanting, no sitting cross-legged, no need for any particular beliefs… and definitely no gurus." This, then, is  Meditation 2.0,  aiming to free the practice from its hippy associations . Puddicombe is mindfulness's first poster boy, a former monk and  circus trainer, who boasts good bone structure and an Abercrombie & Fitch dress sense. The New York Times has already suggested he is "doing for meditation what Jamie...
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Mindfullness is not Mindfulness

Mindfullness is not Mindfulness

The cursor on my screen moves along swiftly. My wifi is off and my mobile is on “do not disturb” – so no emails, no notifications, and no phone-calls or texts. I’m not worried. I know that in about 30 minutes I’ll check all those devices and whatever I need to attend to can wait until then. Just now I have to write this column and I want to be mindful and present for the task. In many ways, there’s something delightfully calming about this, which is paradoxical because it’s still work. It seems that as mindfulness is gaining more space in the public conversation, our...
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