The theme for World Health Day this year is depression, so we have explored mindfulness to discover how it can help with mental wellbeing. Mindfulness can help us slow down, understand ourselves better and enjoy life more.
So how can this help with our mental health? Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says there are lots of ways it can bring a positive change.
‘Mindfulness allows us to become more aware of the stream of thoughts and feelings that we experience,’ he says. ‘This lets us stand back from our thoughts and start to see their patterns. Gradually, we can train ourselves to notice when our thoughts are taking over and realise that thoughts are simply “mental events” that do not have to control us.
‘Most of us have issues that we find hard to let go of, and mindfulness can help us deal with them more productively. We can ask, “Is trying to solve this by brooding about it helpful, or am I just getting caught up in my thoughts?”
‘Awareness of this kind also helps us notice signs of stress and anxiety earlier and helps us deal with them better.’
Superdrug’s mindfulness expert, Clare Dimond, gives us her top tips on how to use this way of thinking to break bad habits…