The Little Book of Mindfulness
A UEL lecturer’s take on the hot topic of mindfulness has taken to her to top of the book charts.
The Little Book of Mindfulness, written by Patrizia Collard, was released in 2014 and by the end of the year had reached the number one spot in the Spirituality category on Amazon. Patrizia has been lecturing on psychology at UEL for the past 12 years, but at the same time has developed a career as a psychotherapist and coach, training people in mindfulness and Compassion Focussed Therapy.
She has also published seven books, and argues that the secret of her publishing success is to make things understandable to the average person.
“My books are accessible to the general public” she reveals. “You don’t need to have a PhD to understand them.”
And hot on the heels of her current best seller, will be the Mindfulness Diet, the Mindfulness Cookbook, and the Mindfulness Bible. But what exactly is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is the intention of bringing awareness to the present moment without judgement,” explains Patrizia. “It is nothing new. It is a form of meditation. Meditation has been practiced for centuries. Buddhist and Christian monks do it. Indigenous people in Papua New Guinea do it.”
But despite its ancient origins, Patrizia feels that mindfulness is the key to finding peace in our busy modern lives.
“With the pace of modern life, we are constantly on the go, constantly on our phones, and tablets and computers. We find it very difficult to just be in the moment. We call ourselves human beings, but we are mostly human doings. We are completely addicted to ‘doing’ all the time. We need to learn again just to be in the moment.”
Patrizia goes as far as arguing that modern society is making us ill.
“Because of our stressful lives, our bodies are constantly experiencing life in the Sympathetic Nervous System – the fight or flight response. When we are in that state, the brain produces cortisol which kills brain cells. We need to spend more time in the Para-Sympathetic Nervous System - the system of ease and peace. When we are in that state, the brain can produce new neurons.”
Mindfullness is a concept that is catching on at even the highest levels of government as Patrizia explains.
“They are having parliamentary groups where MPs learn how to be mindful in their own lives,” she reveals. “Mindfulness will soon be recommended along with regular exercise and your five portions of fruit and veg per day.”
Which can only be good news for Patrizia’s book sales.
Notes to Editors
The University of East London (UEL) is a global learning community with students from over 120 countries world-wide. Our vision is to achieve recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a successful and inclusive regional university proud of its diversity, committed to new modes of learning which focus on students and enhance their employability, and renowned for our contribution to social, cultural and economic development, especially through our research and scholarship. We have a strong track-record in widening participation and working with industry.