Slow down, answer life questions and find focus with mindfulness

Lucy Bradley | 2nd February 2018

Within busy working lifestyles it’s often difficult to prioritise our physical and mental health; we book in for gym classes that we’re just too tired for after a hectic day, and New Year’s resolutions of less stress and more ‘me time’ seem a distant memory. David Pearl, founder of Street Wisdom, is on hand to guide you to a healthier mind.

Thankfully the stigma surrounding mental health seems to be slowly dissipating, and people feel more comfortable speaking openly about their struggles, but how can we combat these issues?

Mental health charity Mind states that stress “can cause mental health problems, and make existing problems worse”. One of the ways in which they suggest managing this stress is by “developing your emotional resilience, so you’re better at coping with tough situations” which many believe can be achieved through “mindfulness”.

In recent years there has been a buzz around “mindfulness”, with celebrities such as Goldie Hawn hopping on board and Harry Potter star Emma Watson calling it “genius”. But is this a fad for the A List rich and famous, or can us mere mortals in Manchester get involved?

What is “mindfulness”?

David explains: “Mindfulness is simply about giving your mind space. You stop the chattering. Thoughts are just thoughts, you don’t need to act on them to believe them.

“Mindfulness has different interpretations for people. For me, it is a new term to describe a lifelong practise of what you think is happening into what actually is happening.

“I think it’s a key to being prepared to play with life.”

During his studies at Cambridge in his youth David suffered from a breakdown, and this enlightened him to the importance of mindfulness, made more prominent through the current focus upon mental health: “Mental health has become one of the world’s biggest health problems.

“There is debate about why this is happening but most research agrees it is down to our frenetic 24/7 overstimulated lives. We have never been so well connected yet so disconnected.

“We are losing what it means to be human.”

It was through David’s own journey of recovery that he realised “people need simple accessible tools to help them master their minds and ‘thrive’ instead of ‘survive’.”

He became aware of the difference between existing and perhaps succeeding and actually living: “The living really begins when you can step out of the goldfish bowl of your mind.”

That’s why he developed Street Wisdom. Street Wisdom runs free urban mindfulness walks, helping people slow down, answer life questions and find focus and inspiration. It allows anyone, anywhere, to get unusual inspiration from their everyday surroundings, and time away from our 24/7 screen focused lives.

Walk With Me: Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh

Street Wisdom is the modern urban route to mindfulness – for those who struggle to sit quietly and meditate.

David said: “It is based on the simple premise that there is wisdom all around us on our streets, you just have to slow down and observe to find it.

“The groups we keep to around 15 per facilitator so everyone gets a chance to get something from the session, and take home the skills they need to make Street Wisdom a part of your every day living.”

Sound like something you need? See upcoming events at

David will also be speaking at the Mindful Living Show in Manchester on Friday 2 February.

He said: “The show promises to be a fascinating insight into mindfulness and meditation for the beginner as well as for the more experienced enlightened types!”

Purchase your ticket at: