The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


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What is mindfulness?

Being mindful simply means paying attention, with flexibility, openness, and curiosity. This tells us that mindfulness involves being aware of your experience in the present moment, and being able to consciously direct your attention to different aspects of the experience (as opposed to being lost in your thoughts). Even if this experience is difficult, painful, or unpleasant, mindfulness can allow you to be open and curious about it instead of avoiding or fighting it.

How can mindfulness be useful to me?

For several decades, mindfulness-based therapeutic approaches have been used by psychologists and other healthcare professionals that work with patients experiencing long-term pain. There is evidence to show that mindfulness can be useful to individuals with all kinds of concerns, including long-term pain, but also stress, sleep problems, anxiety, and high blood pressure.

Whilst mindfulness practice is not designed to alleviate pain, it can help reduce distress. It does so by helping you to connect with the ‘here and now’, to notice what is happening, and thereby giving you an opportunity to take positive action and move towards what is important to you.

If you want to learn more about mindfulness please visit our therapeutic resources section.