Private Counsellor Newcastle

Achieving Mindfulness: Practical Tips for Beginners
In 2023 one of the clinic rooms was transformed to bring a soothing space for meditation, mindfulness and yoga. It’s only now the room has been finalised and clients are enjoying the space to learn and practice meditation to support well-being in day to day life. I have to admit I’ve been practicing meditation and doing my yoga in this space (picture below).
If you follow me on the social media account for the clinic, you will have heard me talk about the concept of fun, a relatively neglected topic in the world of psychology. Many see fun as optional when it’s a necessity for our well-being. Meditation & mindfulness is spoke similarly to fun. It’s important to highlight that meditation & mindfulness might not be for you, if this is you then please don’t try or stop if it has a negative impact.
Mindfulness is a practice that involves bringing one’s attention to the present moment, without judgment or attachment to thoughts or emotions. It is taking curiousity to increase awareness of what is happening in the present moment, both internally and externally.  It’s not about having a blank mind, it’s simply taking curiosity of what’s happening in us and how the current of being is having an influence of us. Increasing awareness can support us identifying thoughts, feelings and nourishing our nervous system.
Mindfulness-based interventions have been used in the treatment of various health conditions, including depression, addiction, and eating disorders, with promising Scientific research has shown that mindfulness can be highly effective in improving various aspects of emotional health and well-being. Several studies have demonstrated that regular mindfulness practice can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. For example, a meta-analysis of 39 studies found that mindfulness-based interventions were effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in both clinical and non-clinical populations.
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Practicing mindfulness and mediation: through a variety of techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises, and body scans.
1. There are several practical techniques that can help cultivate mindfulness. One technique is mindful breathing, where you focus your attention on your breath, observing the inhalation and exhalation without trying to change it. This helps anchor your attention to the present moment and can be done anywhere, anytime.
2. Body scan meditation, where you systematically bring your attention to different parts of your body, starting from the top of your head and moving down to your toes. As you scan each body part, you observe any sensations or tension without judgment. This practice helps develop body awareness and can be particularly useful for relaxation and stress reduction.
3. Mindful walking involves bringing your attention to the sensations of walking. As you walk, you focus on the movement of your feet, the contact with the ground, and the sensations in your body. This practice can be done outdoors or indoors, and it helps bring mindfulness into everyday activities.
4. During my time within the nhs I taught patients mindful eating, a technique that involves paying full attention to the experience of eating. You can practice this by eating slowly, savoring each bite, and noticing the taste, texture, and smell of the food. By bringing awareness to the act of eating, you can enhance your enjoyment of food and develop a healthier relationship with eating.
5. Journaling is another practical technique for practicing mindfulness. By writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, you can cultivate self-awareness and reflection. You can use journaling as a tool to observe your thoughts without judgment and gain insights into your patterns of thinking and behaviour.
6. Guided mindfulness meditation is a technique that involves listening to a recorded meditation or following a guided meditation app. These guided meditations provide instructions and prompts to help you focus your attention and cultivate mindfulness. They can be particularly helpful for beginners or individuals who prefer structured guidance in their practice.
I hope you enjoy the practice of taking curiosity of your breath and the journey ahead of meditation & mindfulness.
Private Counsellor Newcastle Upon Tyne