MINDFULNESS AND MORNING MEDITATION - TERRENCE THE TEACHER05/04/2020, Rocco Forte Hotels
Renowned mindfulness master and clinical hypnotherapist, Terrence the Teacher is the go-to for many high-profile personalities seeking to master mindfulness and beneficial mental exercises. Here he draws on his knowledge and experience to delve into the art of mindfulness and apply his transformational techniques to starting the day at home.
Can you please begin by explaining the relationship between mindfulness and meditation?
I always say that ‘Meditation is to mindfulness what exercise is to fitness’. The practise of meditation helps to create changes in the physiology and structure of the brain. Those changes help to change how people respond, instead of reacting, to life. That is the beginning of becoming mindful.
The practise of meditation has been around for centuries in different forms, from Buddhism to Vedic and Transcendental meditation. Modern-day mindfulness had its birth in the 1970s, created by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Through breath, the body and everyday activities, people can learn to become more mindful.
Is mindfulness for everyone? Can you share some of the benefits?
Mindfulness is easy to do and can be done by almost everyone, even children. Science has shown if people practice mindful meditation for 6 to 8 weeks, changes can be seen on an MRI scan. It means people change and of course, those changes are for the better.
Some of the benefits include a reduction in stress levels and anxiety, alongside enhanced relaxation, calm and better-coping skills. Then there’s the improvement in the function of the immune system, better health and even mental wellbeing, and increased creativity and planning skills.
And can you dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding mindfulness?
Common preconceptions often focus on the length of practice. There’s no need for one-hour meditations; even a one-minute mindful breath meditation can help reset you and calm you down.
Then it’s often said that meditation needs to be done in a specific position. Mindfulness meditation can be practised sitting, lying down or even whilst walking, with eyes open or closed.
How do you personally begin each working day?
When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is a small meditation just to set me up for the day. I won't look at any social media or emails until I have left my bedroom. I start my day the way I would like it to continue: calmly!
What exercises or activities would you recommend for someone starting a day that might be challenging?
Going into a day that may be challenging, you want to relax as much as possible. A great exercise is 7/11 meditation. It has been proven to almost immediately relax the parasympathetic nervous system, which means the whole body relaxes. It is very easy to do: Just stand, sit or lie down somewhere comfortable and safe. Then close your eyes. As you breathe in, count to 7, and as you breathe out, count to 11. Do 5-10 of these breaths and you’ll notice your body start to relax immediately.
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His journey started working in the Health and Fitness Industry as a Personal trainer and Pilates teacher. He soon became very aware of the powerful Mind/Body connection. In 2001 he trained in Neuro-Linguistics, training under the Co-founder of the movement, Dr Richard Bandler. He qualified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist in the same year, obtaining a Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy through The Institute of Clinical Hypnosis.
Mindfulness became part of his personal process after a life-changing health scare. Now Mindfulness Practice, Mindful Living and Mindful meditation plays a big role in all he teaches.