Mindfulness is increasingly being talked about in the field of mental health and wellbeing. It is a simple form of meditation that focuses attention on the here and now, being aware of what you are doing in that exact moment and nothing more. It is commonly practiced by stressed out, over worked individuals looking to escape the pressures of modern life, however I have recently discovered some studies looking into the benefits for people with dementia practicing mindfulness. When you think about it a bit more it makes perfect sense, it is designed to calm you down, focus on your breathing and learn to enjoy just ‘being’ in the moment.
I recently came across a report by Positive Aging Associates who completed a small pilot study which collected results from 12 people with dementia and 8 carers. Positive outcomes included;
- reduction in anxiety
- help with pain control
- help with coping with dementia
- improved awareness and sense of appreciation
Through our Dementia nature kits project we have been developing a selection of nature based activities for people living with dementia and have thus decided to include an activity around mindfulness. We think that by being outside in nature you can achieve a strong sense of calm and peacefulness as well as forging an emotional connection to place. Our activity comprises of a series of bags that enable you to be guided through a ‘mindfulness in nature’ journey. We believe that both people living with dementia and their carers could really benefit by taking time out to just ‘be’ in nature experiencing their environment through the senses.
UPDATE! Our mindfulness activity is now available to buy on our website, all proceeds go straight back into our charitable work. Find out more