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It's never too late

Mindfulness wasn’t necessary for previous generations. Life was naturally more mindful. If my Grandad Joe knew that I was teaching people how to breathe properly, how to pay attention to their thoughts, their body, and taste their food he would laugh and think the world had gone mad. I am fairly certain that he would have believed that if you needed to be taught such simple stuff there was no hope for you. (He was a pretty no nonsense Yorkshire man!).

I don’t think he would have been alone in his belief either. I think most people his generation would have found it very difficult to understand that we have drifted so far from nature and paying attention to our daily lives that we need to re-learn all these very basic things.

I have talked many times about the fact that it was Grandad Joe who introduced me to almost all the ideas that I then “learned” during my mindfulness training. So when did we lose this natural mindfulness?

As you know most of my work is teaching mindfulness to children and teachers in schools. I firmly believe that if we can teach children to be more aware of their bodies and their thoughts and emotions at a young age they will grow up using these skills and taking them for granted just as my grandparents generation did.

This week I am changing allegiance!

I am teaching mindfulness to a group of Over 55s and I can’t wait!


In my opinion this is the lost generation as far as mental health provision. My parents generation have been immersed in the capitalism of the 1980’s. They have been swept along with the technological revolution and were infected by the “got to be busy” mentality of the end of the last century. This is the generation who were taught that owning possessions was your most important achievement. The women were the first generation who were made to feel that they had to be a high achieving business woman and mother of the year simultaneously. 

As a result, unfortunately, half of adults over the age of 55 in the UK have suffered from depression or anxiety. According to NHS figures that is 7.7 million adults who are living with these often debilitating conditions.

To add to this stress, many are now having to either work for longer than they had been led to believe. Those who have been able to retire are often caring for their grandchildren so that their children can afford to return to work, or caring for their own parents.

Not exactly the relaxing retirement they dreamed of during their working life.

Many people feel that it is harder to talk about their struggles. Whether this is because they were brought up to see them as a weakness, or they feel that they should adopt the stiff upper lip and just get on with it. Of course when my grandparents were growing up depression and anxiety weren’t recognised as medical conditions and it is this attitude which was passed to my parents generation.

So what is the answer?

Well, mindfulness is certainly one solution. Learning to reconnect with nature; taking long walks, gardening or just sitting in the garden listening to the birds (although perhaps not this week, it’s more than a little chilly this week in the UK!). Disconnecting from technology helps. Learning to meditate can be life changing and it has been shown to increase the production of growth hormone helping you look and feel younger.

“One in 4 older people (25 per cent) said they felt it was more difficult for older people to discuss mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, compared to younger people. ” 

NHS statistics

So, today I will be going and introducing myself and mindfulness to the Over 55’s Club in Stafford and hopefully they will be interested and want to find out more.

We will be doing a couple of exercises and talking about how important it is to stay mindful. I will update this blog after my visit to let you know how we got on, but I know we will have a fun afternoon.

If you aren’t fortunate enough to be able to find a group or class to learn mindfulness but it is something you are interested in why not take my online class “and breathe…”?

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