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Advice about mindfulness

Watch Craig and Richard chat about some of the things you should consider before you start practising mindfulness.

Before we get too far into the practice of mindfulness it is worth noting that although it has been demonstrated to be a very safe and effective intervention for a wide range of applications, challenges can arise while practising mindfulness.

Please take some time to watch Craig and Richard discuss some of these issues.

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The “Is mindfulness safe?” article by Oxford Mindfulness Centre discusses the research behind adverse events arising from mindfulness practice. It distinguishes between temporary discomfort and lasting harm, and provides hints about how to practise to ensure these risks are minimised.

Brown University’s “Study documents range of challenging meditation experiences” article discusses some of the challenging experiences that people occasionally have when practising mindfulness.

Don’t worry, you’re doing it right

The main message is that if you have experiences during meditation that are not pleasant and ‘positive’, this is not necessarily a sign that you are doing anything incorrectly.

Such experiences are actually normal and can be a sign of progress, although care should be taken not to do too much meditation practice or go on long silent retreats when facing mental health challenges like depression, severe anxiety or psychosis.

Always seek professional advice and support

If you have any significant concerns about your mental health, you may wish to seek professional advice and support. For example, you could ask your regular doctor/general practitioner for a referral to see a therapist or specialist doctor for your particular health concern.

Remember, mindfulness is safe and useful in general, as long as it is practised correctly. Like with physical exercise, some minor discomfort may be a sign of progress, and at the same time it is important to practise in a way that is sustainable and safe.

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Maintaining a Mindful Life

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