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. His close relationship with Rocco Forte Hotels’ Director of Wellness, Irene Forte, has led to an exclusive collaboration within Brown’s Hotel. Here we draw 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 practice of meditation helps to create changes in the physiology and structure of the brain. Those changes help to change how people respond, instead of react, to life. That is the beginning of becoming mindful.
The practice 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 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 practise. 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 the 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.”
Look out for Terrence the Teacher’s tips on being productive from home, soon to be published on our Notebook. To enquire about bespoke sessions with Terrence the Teacher, email firstname.lastname@example.org