What are the benefits of mindfulness?
Find out how mindfulness can reduce stress and anxiety and access our free Mindfulness For All platform.
We all live incredibly busy lives. Balancing work commitments with caring responsibilities, or constantly moving between studying and household chores may sound familiar to many of us.
The way we rush to achieve life’s necessities can mean we lose touch with the present moment and explore how we are really feeling. Taking the time to practice purposely focusing our attention on the moment – also known as mindfulness – can be a crucial way to reduce stress. Mindfulness practice can also help reduce anxiety, brain distractions, prevent depression as well as improve cognition.
In March 2020, experienced mindfulness teachers from King’s Health Partners established regular guided meditation sessions to support colleagues’ wellbeing through meditation – also known as Mindfulness For All. Since January 2020, staff and students have been able to access Mindfulness For All platform online for free by logging into the King’s Health Partners Learning Hub through their partner organisation and searching for ‘mindfulness’. Since the platform launched, the mindfulness materials have received more than 1,560 views, with more than 300 Mindfulness For All platform users.
Mental health experts across King’s Health Partners who established the Mindfulness For All platform share why mindfulness can benefit you in your personal and professional lives.
Dr Sarah Walsh, consultant dermatologist and clinical lead for dermatology, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust:
I came to mindfulness about eight or nine years ago, and I think my motivation at that time was very much to do with learning how to deal with stress and change a bit more skillfully.
One of the things I think I have come to benefit personally is the ability to quiet the mind.
Professionally it has allowed me to build a lot of resilience to the demands of a clinical role.
Also in a clinical setting, I have brought a lot of the mindful techniques that I have learnt personally to my patient population. I work as a dermatologist which largely deals with the burden of chronic disease and a lot of diseases that affect self-image. I have found many of the techniques I have gained through mindfulness have huge applicability in patients dealing with the burden of chronic disease.
Dr Florian Ruths, consultant psychiatrist, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust:
Mindfulness practice has a lot of benefits. There’s a lot of literature showing that mindfulness can help improve resilience and help people with their emotional regulation.
We also know that mindfulness works for clinical populations. Mindfulness can have huge benefit on developing a friendlier relationship with our emotions and perhaps also helping us regulating and soothing our emotions, particularly when times are difficult.
Dr Linda Fisher, cognitive behaviour therapist and lead for Mindfulness-Based Approaches Departments of Dental Psychology and Oral Medicine, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust:
For me, mindfulness, and in particular the kindness and compassion practices, allow us to recognize our connection with all of humanity. For clinicians, it is sometimes about reminding ourselves that we are really no different from our patients – a very humbling and humanizing aspect of care.
More generally, compassion lies at the heart of inclusion and is a quality that we can all actively cultivate. More familiarity with our inner emotional life and habit patterns, an increased self-awareness of our impact on others and a sensitivity to what might be compassionate action in any given moment may more easily allow us extend our circle of care and concern outward to include those that might otherwise be excluded or fall outside our gaze.
You can now access Mindfulness For All online by logging into the King’s Health Partners Learning Hub through your partner organisation and searching for ‘mindfulness’. The resource is completely free for all to use and though originally created for King’s Health Partners staff and students, it is now open to everyone; including, key workers in health, education, social care and primary care settings as well as local carers, patients and residents.