What is Mindfulness?
Many of us can spend our lives focusing on the past, (having regrets) or caught up in worrying about the future – living in our heads. Our busy daily commitments of; work, family, friends and hobbies mean that we can miss what’s actually happening in the moment, life can pass us by.
Problems of stress, anxiety and depression can develop, we lose concentration and can become reactive to situations.
Mindfulness is a way of making a conscious effort of paying attention to ourselves and our experience in the moment, helping us become more aware of our thoughts, emotions & physical sensations. By becoming more aware of our automatic, habitual ways of reacting we can learn to respond, make better choices and meet challenges more skillfully. Instead of reacting or being overwhelmed by them, we learn to accept and make more considered and appropriate choices about how we want to live our lives, feeling that we have more control. We learn to accept how things are for better or worse.
Mindfulness can help us to be more open to our experience, learn to be more accepting of how things are and become kinder to ourselves instead of critical and disapproving. It can be achieved through meditation, or by practicing informal mindfulness in daily life, helping you become aware of your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations in the present moment, quietening your inner dialogue and learning to respond rather than react to situations.
There are numerous research articles to show the benefits of mindfulness, some of these are:
- Develop a deeper understanding of yourself through awareness of your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behaviours.
- Improved self-esteem & self-confidence
- Quieten your mind & relax your body
- Manage anxiety, depression, pain, illness & stressful situations more effectively
- Promotes physical well being; reduced blood pressure, better immune function
- Greater sense of emotional well being
- Increased self awareness
- Become less reactive to unpleasant experiences
- Learn to distance yourself from your thoughts and calm your mind
- Better management of chronic pain
- Experience more balance and less emotional ups and downs
- Become more connected to yourself, others and the world around you
- Become less judgmental of yourself and others
- Develop self-acceptance and self-compassion
The UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence, (NICE), see has recommended Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for treatment of recurrent depression since 2004.
For further research into the clinical and health benefits of mindfulness, click here.
Cultivating mindfulness involves observing what’s happening whilst its happening in our experience. This skill can be developed through mindfulness meditation practices, mindful movement and mindfulness in daily life activities as taught on our courses.
At the heart of mindfulminds courses is a compassion based approach, encouraging you to develop positive emotions of kindness, compassion and gratitude towards ourselves and others. These are developed through the kindness meditations on the course.
When practicing mindfulness, it is normal to find thoughts creeping in involuntarily, that is what the mind does, mindfulness helps us to learn how to slow down this mental chatter, reduce our involvement with these thoughts or the habitual reactivity of the mind and learn how to respond to situations through wise choice.
One of the key features of the brain is its ability to change via neuroplasticity, ‘neurons that fire together, wire together,’ – neuroscientist Carla Shatz. What this means is that if a particular thought or action is repeated you strengthen a set of brain cells or neurons. This is why the practice of mindfulness is really important, the more we practice it, the easier it becomes. There is a strong emphasis to practice meditations that have been introduced during the course in between sessions.
Mindfulness is for everyone from all walks of life, young or old. It is not a religion – anyone, with any belief system, can enjoy the benefits of mindfulness.
Research suggests benefits for individuals experiencing:
• Chronic pain
• Chronic illness
• Sleep difficulties
• Mood management
Or simply if you’d like to bring more joy into your life.
Finding peace in a frantic world:
Intro to Mindfulness course
The main aim of the course is to help you understand more about how the mind works, increase awareness of your internal/external experiences and habitual patterns that may not be helping you in life. The simple yet powerful mindfulness practices learnt during the course can be incorporated into your daily life to help you take control, break the cycle of stress, anxiety, unhappiness or exhaustion, whilst helping you to rediscover the joy in life, or to help you keep up with the demands of a modern life and increase resilience. At the end of the course you will be guided on resources to support continued practice and enhance your wellbeing.
WEEKLY SESSIONS: The course consists of 8 weekly sessions each lasting 1.5 hours. Each week will introduce a different theme (see below) along with a short guided meditation practices, discussions, reflections and space for any questions.
READING: This introduction to mindfulness course follows the curriculum taken from the best-selling book ‘Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World’ by Mark Williams and Danny Penman, based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) which has been proven. Each week you will be invited to read through the relevant chapter within the book which is an easy, enjoyable and informative read.
HOME PRACTICE: To get the full benefit from the course, participants are asked to use the accompanying CD to do the practices that accompany the relevant chapter. These will take 15 – 20 minutes.
One of the key benefits of taking the 8 week course is to get the help, support and motivation necessary to make the daily commitment to practice and build mindfulness into your life, which can make such a difference in the long-term.
TEACHER SUPPORT: If required, extra support is available on request, in between sessions by email or phone.
- become familiar with the workings of your mind and body
- notice reactivity and getting caught in unhelpful thinking patterns – self criticism, worry, rumination
- learn new ways of responding to situations rather getting caught up in reactivity
- learn to recognise when unpleasant thoughts and feelings arise and how to skillfully manage them before they cause you to feel anxious or depressed
- understand how over-thinking increases stress and learn how to side-step it
- notice when stress begins to build and show you how to prevent it spiralling
- learn how to reduce feelings of becoming overwhelmed
- develop skills to move towards difficult experiences with acceptance and compassion rather than avoiding them
- become aware of choices you can make in your life
- appreciate the pleasant moments in life by being fully present for them
- be kind to yourself and others
MOST IMPORTANTLY – learn to accept yourself as you are.
You don’t have to have previous experience of mindfulness or meditation or a particular problem, mindfulness can enhance your life from wherever you are starting from.
The course can help anyone dealing with stress of any kind, whether associated with work, relationships, finances, loss or other factors outside your control. it is also helpful for those who would like strategies to deal with the general complexity and pace of modern life.
COURSE FEE: £175 – includes 8 weekly sessions of 1.5 hours, book that supports the course, teacher support in between sessions if required, by email or phone.
PARTIAL PAYMENTS: Partial payments are acceptable; however a non-refundable and non-transferable minimum deposit is due upon registration.
Please be aware that the early-bird rate is available for all participants who register and pay their balance in full by the Early-Bird Deadline. All early-bird rate participants who have a remaining balance after that date will have their fees automatically adjusted to the standard course fee.
All remaining balances must be paid in full 30 days prior to the start of the training or your registration will be cancelled for non-payment and you will not be permitted to attend.
CANCELLATION POLICY: A refund (minus your non-refundable and non-transferable deposit) will be made for cancellations submitted in writing on or before a date 30 days prior to the start of the training. No refunds will be allowed after this date.
In the unlikely event that the course is cancelled, mindfulminds is responsible for a full refund of the registration fee.
It is not possible to offer refund if you do not complete the course.
A limited number of concessionary rates are available for people on low incomes please ask for details..
BOOKING INFORMATION: If you’d like to reserve place on the Mindfulness Course please complete the booking form via this website, and pay for your place via credit card or BACS.
Once I have received your booking form and full course fee your place will be confirmed by email. I may give you a call to make sure that the course is suitable for you at this time.
If there is not a scheduled course, or all courses are full, your name can be placed on a waiting list.
NOTE: It is not advisable to begin mindfulness training if you are currently experiencing an episode of severe depression, are acutely ill, or there is so much currently going on in your life that you are unable to commit to regular practice for the duration of the course.
EMPLOYER PAYMENT? If your employer is paying, please request an invoice.
In the event that minimum numbers are not reached for any course, mindfulminds reserves the right to cancel the course and refund any payment made in full.
Course Dates: TBC
Mindfulness – One to one
Book a session
I provide one to one sessions in a calm and relaxed environment for those who cannot commit to an 8 week course, find groups challenging or prefer a more individual approach.
This can be in-person or via Skype.
Often, people have read books and often say to me that they feel they need more support from an experienced teacher to embed the practice into their life. One to one sessions provide an opportunity for exploration of your experience in the moment and help you to embed mindfulness into your life.
The sessions allow for flexibility and can be specifically focused around your needs, whether you are experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, emotional difficulties, chronic pain, long term health conditions, sleep problems or for those who would like to learn more about mindfulness for their to improve their quality of life.
Normally, we meet for an initial session of an hour to discuss your needs and find a way forwards that will suit your lifestyle. I am not restricted to helping you learn mindfulness with the eight week programme, I am flexible to work with your needs.
BENEFITS OF ONE TO ONE MINDFULNESS SESSIONS
- learn how to increase self-awareness and well-being
- confidentiality and privacy during the sessions
- sessions tailored around your own individual needs
- the ability to ask questions relevant to your own needs
- more in depth support
- work at your own pace
- more flexibility
- the ability to be yourself in a safe, nurturing environment
For further research into the clinical and health benefits of mindfulness, click here
Together we can work through the 8 week mindfulness course on a one-to-one basis, by meeting in Lea, Malmesbury. Usually this would be done eight times over a time period to suit you. If you prefer to learn mindfulness in a more flexible way to suit your needs I am happy to meet and discuss this with you.
During the eight weeks we would work through the weekly sessions of the course together and reflect on the home practice. It takes time to embed mindfulness into your life, by attending individual sessions you can explore and ask questions around how mindfulness and fit it into your personal circumstances and life.
Each session of the eight week format will be 50 minutes, covering the theme for each week of the course, reflecting and setting home practice and exploring in more depth your experience of the practices. You will be given a folder with handouts from the course and CD’s or downloads with the practices on.
Where: Skype or face-to-face session.
(Please indicate preference in the ‘comments’ box during booking)