Dealing with stress using mindful meditation

The class practices stretching,  tensing and relaxing different parts of the body.
The class practices stretching, tensing and relaxing different parts of the body.

Mindfulness meditation teacher Lynn Exley says repetition is the key to making changes in the brain – but quite often we are repeating things that aren’t helpful.

She said: “Going over something that has gone on in the past, that is actually changing the structure of your brain and making it your default setting. We can change that to something more positive.”

For instance, a 15-year-old told Lynn after a school lecture on mindfulness that she hadn’t realised that she didn’t have to worry all the time.

Lynn says: “There are lots of things that make us stressed and we can’t change those, but what we can change is our reaction to those situations.

“It means wherever you are now, whatever problems you have, you have the power to change it. All you need is the tools.

“Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose; placing your attention somewhere and leaving it there. A big part of mindfulness is having that power to be in the moment and not think about the future or worry about what’s happened in the past.

“But noticing that your mind has wandered is the first step in mindfulness.”