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“When you are mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. “

I have long been aware of the subject of mindfulness – a state of active, open attention to the present. However I recently attended a two day course which re-stimulated my enthusiasm for this method of self -control and self help.

When you are mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life passing you by, mindfulness enables living in the moment and awakening to experiences around you.

Using this approach to life can :

  • Result in rearranging your priorities; by noticing what is trivial and what is important to you
  • Engender a feeling of curiosity, which will help you explore thoughts and feelings
  • Help you gain a sense of liberation – being able to make informed choices
  • Develop an enhanced sense of living in the immediate present, you can achieve a vivid appreciation of your surroundings – the beauty of autumn, the wind on your face, the magic of a snowflake
  • Enable you to enjoy the present moment, rather than postponing life until some point in the future
  • Encourage a feeling of contentment which banishes tension and stress
  • Reduce anger and frustration by observing the feeling and choosing to let it pass
  • Enhance attention by reducing distractions to passing thoughts

How can you achieve this amazing state of mind?

Firstly, you need to become aware of distressing emotions, feelings and thoughts.

Secondly, attach yourself to your breath – breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly and intentionally until you sense a calmness descending over you.

Thirdly, breathe in energy and calm and breathe out emotions, feelings and thoughts.

Focus on the breath and notice the peace and calm of the moment.

Even in a busy office or street you can absorb the moment and become aware without judgement but with perceptiveness both within and around you.

Don’t forget to join Ann McCraken, the author of this blog, in her mental health and wellbeing training courses.


Ann McCracken is a Director of AMC2 and the vice president of the International Management Association (ISMA UK) – the professional body for stress management Practitioners.

She specialises in developing a positive and resilient working culture in organisations by introducing effective strategies in performance and wellbeing at all levels. The effectiveness of such a positive working culture is measured and assessed using AMC2 Corporate Diagnostic innovative surveys which include measurement of psychosocial factors, stress and wellbeing. Having initially trained as a scientist, she carried out research with DEFRA and consultancy in the NHS.

She spent 10 years in Education before retraining as a stress management practitioner in 1996. She is the author of Stress Gremlins©, regularly writes/broadcasts and is an external lecturer at Westminster University. She is also a Key Note/Motivational speaker/Conference Chair.

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