Some folks consider Peace of Mind and Mindfulness to be essentially one and the same, others that Peace of Mind is something that can be achieved by practising Mindfulness; in either case, it is the state of having a mind that is calm, tranquil, and under our own conscious supervision that we all desire - i.e., we all want to be able to think about things we want (or have deliberately decided) to think about, not things we don't want to think about or that we find worrying or unpleasant. Unfortunately, in the modern world, it seems to be the case that it is the latter state (one of worry, anxiety, sadness, depression - even outright panic) which is on the increase - more people these days are harassed and disturbed by unwanted feelings and worries than ever before, and this is something that demands more attention than it currently gets.
In terms of defining mindfulness, there are many variations of similar themes, www.mindful.org gives as its definition:
"Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us."
www.nhs.uk/mental-health says the following:
What is mindfulness?
Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says that mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.
"It's easy to stop noticing the world around us. It's also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living 'in our heads' – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour," he says.
"An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.
"Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment.
"It's about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives."
www.mind.org.uk, probably the UK's most well-known Mental Health Charity, says of mindfulness:
Mindfulness is a technique you can learn which involves noticing what's happening in the present moment, without judgement. You might take notice and be aware of your mind, body or surroundings. The technique has roots in Buddhism and meditation, but you don't have to be spiritual, or have any particular beliefs, to try it.
Mindfulness aims to help you:
become more self-aware
feel calmer and less stressed
feel more able to choose how to respond to your thoughts and feelings
cope with difficult or unhelpful thoughts
be kinder towards yourself.
We will be posting some articles and comments here from time to time that may be helpful to those experiencing mental health issues themselves as well as for those who are trying to help, or maybe sometimes just identify, issues with a relative, friend or colleague.