Here is a heads up in anticipation of Mental Health Awareness Week, 11 – 17th May 2015 (#MHAW15 #BeMindful). This will be the 15th annual awareness event, founded by the Mental Health Foundation www.mental-health.org.uk
Mental Health Awareness Week aims to encourage conversation around mental health to fight discrimination and stigma and promote good mental wellbeing. This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week, 11 – 17th May 2015, is Mindfulness.
Contrary to some popular misconceptions, mindfulness is not about emptying the mind, but more so about gaining control over the focus of your attention. Similarly, the objectives of practicing mindfulness are not about reducing anxiety or promoting relaxation, as is often thought; although these are often a welcome side effect. Mindfulness in its essence is about learning to pay attention to and fully experience the present moment. By encouraging us to drop our tendency to drag around emotional baggage from the past and worries about the future, mindfulness enables us to accept our present experiences for what they are, whether that is good, bad or indifferent. You could be experiencing some pretty awful emotions during a mindfulness practise, but by being mindful you can learn to manage these moments more effectively; giving us a tool to better accept the full spectrum of life’s experiences and emotions.