We’re not short of a world record or two in Manchester. The 2002 Commonwealth Games was the largest multi-sport event ever hosted in the UK. Coronation Street is the world’s longest running soap opera. And we’ve got the world’s most expensive footballer.
The Whitworth was the site of another Manchester world record attempt last week. 272 people took part in a 30-minute Introduction to Mindfulness session and smashed the previous world record of 250.
The idea behind the event, held as part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2017, was to show that people can take steps to make a positive difference to their mental health.
Mindfulness is one way of doing this. It’s a practice which involves focussing on the present rather than dwelling on the past or uncertainties of the future.
“Mindfulness is the concept of staying purposely in the present moment without judgement,” says Josie Sensier of Self Help, a charity supporting better mental health awareness which organised the event.
“This means fully focusing either with meditation or activity without any judgement on what you are doing. As if seeing things through a child’s mind.”
People of all backgrounds and ages were involved, celebrating the fact that anyone can take up the practice.
“It is important to use the pockets of time we spend frustrated about the next thing to be mindful. For instance waiting for a train or bus. Use this to meditate and be in the moment instead of feeling frustrated. Our days are filled with these small opportunities to be mindful.”
Fancy trying it yourself? Self Help offer 8 week mindfulness-based stress reduction courses and they are completely free of charge.