This week we have a special blog post from Susan Crowley, our Community & Education Officer. Susan has recently completed a 2 year Masters in “Mindfulness-Based Wellbeing” Teacher Training at UCC. Susan runs her own business Mindfulness and More as well as working here in Cork Mental Health.

It's a pleasure to gain an insight into Susan's knowledge and we hope you take something away from it too! 

What Exactly is Mindfulness and How Can it Change My Life? 
I define mindfulness as maintaining an open-hearted awareness of our thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations and our environment. 

  • By enabling us to pay full attention to the present moment - purposefully, warmheartedly and non-judgementally - the practice of mindfulness allows us to experience things as they really are, rather than how we think they are or want them to be.  


  • Mindfulness can help us to train our minds to observe our mental and emotional patterns and be aware of when our reactive brain is threatening to sabotage our best intentions. 


  • By enabling us to cultivate greater self-awareness and self-regulation, mindfulness can truly be the cornerstone of personal transformation. 

Mindfulness doesn't mean emptying your head or burning sage or sitting cross-legged, it means taking three intentional breaths before I have to make a difficult call or starting each day with a word of intention and sitting with that word for a few breaths throughout the day. The benefits of being mindful in the workplace mean we can develop the tools to continue building a language in our businesses where we show up with our whole selves.  Lead with intention and build skills of resilience emotional intelligence and peak performance. This follows us into our lives outside of work helping us to lead more meaningful and purpose-filled lives.  

Formal Mindfulness Meditation V’s Informal Mindfulness Meditation 

Formal Mindfulness practice is all about sitting or lying down with the intention to bring your attention to your breathing as the anchor and observe your thinking without getting drawn into the stories the mind conjures up. It is about moving your awareness from the breath to the body sensations moving for e.g. from the feet all the way up to the top of your head, spending a few moments with each area. Noticing what is there when your attention arrives on each area without judging or trying to change anything. Bringing a sense of kindness and compassion to yourself as you sit.  


You Can Change your Life by Changing How you Do Things Daily!

  • Informal Meditation is about going about your daily life and punctuating it with mindful moments.  

Intentionally bringing that same awareness about what you are doing when you are doing it. This can be inserted into your daily life easily by purposefully planning. For example, when you are brushing your teeth each time, you notice the taste, smell, colour, sensation and above all notice how your mind wanders off into tonight's dinner or this afternoon's meeting. 

  • It’s “he “Bringing it Back” is how the mindful muscle gets stronger. This is where the resistance is built just like going to the gym and lifting weights. Resistance is what is building and strengthening the muscle. Lots of people believe that if their mind wanders that they can't do this and they give up. This is the vital part.  
  • Noticing the mind wandering and gently escorting the attention back to what you were focusing on, like brushing your teeth. Use all the senses to come into this moment of fully being with the task/job you are doing. Try this when you have a tea/coffee, notice the heat on your hands, the taste, how it looks, and what's going on in your mind right now.  
  • Over time you will see this seep into more times of your day even when you didn’t have the intention and this is how you create a more present mindful life. Minding the pennies (small tasks) and the pounds (bigger situations in life) will mind themselves 
  • Other Daily Routines could be taking a shower, hanging out the clothes, washing your hands/dishes, listening, and eating. These done on purpose with intention can be transformational! 


Experience teaches, not words. Don’t take my word for it... try it out! 


For more information check out Susan's website, where you can learn more about the power of mindfulness, take part in workshops and classes, and more. 

Check out her Facebook page and her Instagram for updates, the latest information and helpful content.