Mindfulness and Relaxation

Being mindful is a concept that is almost as old as mankind. It has origins in Buddhist philosophy and the techniques of meditation. It is even more important in modern society where people live stressful and busy lives.

Mindfulness has been defined as a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them to be good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience (Psychology Today, 2014).

Mindfulness and relaxation techniques should have a place in any crisis management plan. These methods can not only help to de-escalate crisis situations, but also contribute to the overall well-being of both carers and distressed individuals. 

Mindfulness for people with intellectual disabilities


As attested by current research, there is now optimism that mindfulness and acceptance procedures may prove to be valuable in assisting parents and paid carers to enhance the quality of life of individuals with developmental disabilities (Noone 2013; Russell 2011). Indeed, there is also limited research that indicates individuals who function at mild, and perhaps moderate levels of intellectual disabilities may benefit from learning mindfulness-based procedures (Robertson 2011).

New Zealand scenery. Tree in a lake surrounded by mountains

Mindfulness and the Atlass Programme

Developing mindful practitioners is a key component of the Atlass approach. We aim to focus people on their own well-being, and to make participants mindful practitioners. The low arousal approach to managing behaviours of concern is based very much on the concept of a relaxed approach to managing high arousal states.