Introduction to Mindfulness – From Your CU

News, Monday 17th February, by HSSCU

As you know, HSSCU caring about every aspect of our members’ lives. We wanted to continue with fantastic knowledge from our talented members. HSSCU Scholarship recipient and  honours MSc. graduate in Mindfulness Based Interventions, Denise Coleman kindly used her in-depth mindfulness knowledge to create an introduction to mindfulness for all members. We were very excited for this article and hope you enjoy.


Your Introduction to Mindfulness by Denise Coleman

“Research shows the average person spends approximately 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they are doing,” (Harvard Gazette, 2010).


What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a simple but ancient approach to living.  It is a way of being more deeply present to your body, your thoughts, and your emotions.  It is learning to work with what is already here, in a less reactive, less judgmental manner.  We can often be unaware that our mind is somewhere else, we are out of touch with our body, and that we have become engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future.  This can have a big impact on how we live our lives, interpret events and respond to what is happening around us.  Mindfulness helps us to ‘get off autopilot’ and learn tools that can help us to reclaim how we respond to the unavoidable stressors in our lives.  Ultimately, mindfulness helps us to move into deeper levels of awareness so that we can experience the fullness of life as it unfolds, moment by moment.


Introduction to Mindfulness - Denise Coleman - HSSCU


What are the Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been extensively researched in many settings since its launch in 1979, by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre.  There is a significant body of scientific research indicating the benefits of mindfulness for mental and physical well-being.  Mindfulness has been found to be a helpful addition to conventional treatments for a variety of medical and psychological conditions and systems, including:


  • High Blood Pressure
  • Anxiety and Panic
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal Distress
  • Chronic Pain
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Chronic Fatigue


Studies also show that regular meditators have improved attention, memory, and faster reaction times.  This summary is not comprehensive, but it gives a sense of the range of evidence based research findings that have been carried out in the areas of Mindfulness.


Tip of the week

Focus on the Breath.

Take a moment to become aware of the simple fact that you are breathing.  Pause to notice how the breath feels, is it shallow, laboured, tense, or of any other quality? The breath is an ever-present anchor point within each of us that we can turn to in moments of distress, joy, boredom, and everything in between.  Bring your awareness now to taking a few more intentional deep breaths in and out. Do you begin to notice the breath in a different way?  Becoming aware of your present moment experience of simply breathing is an act of mindfulness.


Mindfulness Introduction - Denise Coleman - HSSCU


Learning More

We hope you enjoyed our introduction to mindfulness article with Denise. Should this article be received well, Denise has offered to follow up with more mindfulness articles to continue to help her fellow members.

Should you have queries, Denise is happy to answer any queries on the introduction to mindfulness, at

If you found the article interesting, please feel free to let us know on any of our social media platforms or by emailing


*Please note that Health Services Staffs Credit Union is not an expert on mindfulness techniques and that all above advice is from Denise Coleman, qualified mindfulness teacher and HSSCU scholarship recipient. Any views above are not made on behalf of HSSCU.


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