14th January 2017Category: Working Carers
Happy New Year! January is a time of diets, exercise and good habits (well the intention is there). This week I am revisiting mindfulness because we have new programmes planned for February, March and April (Millom, Whitehaven and Wigton -details at the bottom of the page). I have personally taken the 8 week course, it was enjoyable and I would say it have been a positive experience which has had a positive impact on my life. .
First you might be thinking… what the heck is mindfulness? You might think it’s a woo-woo thing that happens in a forest somewhere… but it isn’t.
I was a bit sceptical about the whole thing at the start but learning a new skill can take a little bit of time but with a group of like-minded people, I felt at ease and willing to give it a go. I have been able to sleep better at night, anxiety reduced and more content and appreciative of what and who is around me.
If you ever find yourself:
If you answered yes to any of these questions, mindfulness would be beneficial for you!
This is a great opportunity to create some ‘ME’ time. Time to learn something in a safe, calm environment with cake and coffee included (BONUS!). Time that you can focus on you, no one else but the most important person you need to focus on….YOU.
You will train your brain with other carers. This is a unique opportunity to share with other people who understand the issues and are juggling everything on a daily basis just like you. These people could potentially be new friends that can support you in the future.
Two hours for eight weeks where you start to look at the world in a different way, and practice skills that will last you a lifetime. So I have finished the hard sell and the details are at the bottom of the page if you want to try a taster introduction session as well as where and when the sessions are.
But if I have you intrigued, here is some more information on mindfulness and what you can expect from the programmes.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is about being able to experience life in the present moment. Being in the present moment can help us all cope better with our lives and feel happier. This is because mindfulness is about respecting, and not judging, ourselves - it is about just accepting ourselves for who we are. It is very simple, but can be a very powerful way of keeping us in touch with what is really important about our lives. It is about helping us not to get bogged down by past mistakes or worrying about what the future will bring.
Mindfulness also involves keeping our minds clear of thoughts, so that we can focus on what is happening now, without being distracted. This means we need to become more aware of our thoughts. If we can be aware of our thoughts, it is easier to accept our thoughts as just thoughts, and then 'let them go', knowing that they don't have to affect us.
Mindfulness can be practised in many different ways. It simply involves bringing your attention to the present moment. Mindfulness is often confused with relaxation. Although you may become more relaxed when you are mindful, this is not the goal of mindfulness. The goal is to be aware of and accept whatever way your body and mind feel at this moment in time in a way that is manageable no matter how difficult or challenging we believe it to be so that we can experience life in a happier or more balanced way. Our minds are often very busy and full of our thoughts, many of which are about the past and future. The goal of mindfulness is to be aware that we have thoughts, but to let them go so that we can focus on the present, without distraction.
Working Carers can use these new skills at work, they are interchangeable. Regular practice of mindfulness increases focus and productivity, greater creativity, and improved relationships with colleagues, and communication. It helps you focus on the things that you’re able to control and letting go of those that you simply can’t control and acceptance of it.
There is now lots of research to show how useful Mindfulness is to help with managing stressful situations, especially where these develop into feelings of anxiety, depression or chronic illness and pain.
What happens on a Mindfulness Course?
You will learn how to use simple meditation techniques to focus your full attention on things like sounds or breathing. Meditation is not about sitting cross legged on a cushion (although it can be done like this if you prefer!). Meditation just means to focus or concentrate on something and we will learn how to do this in many different ways, sitting on a chair, standing or moving about and doing certain tasks. As you develop your ability to focus your attention it will allow you to observe your thoughts and feelings as they arise. Then you will come to realise that they come and go of their own accord and you are not your thoughts. You will practice being able to watch them come and go without being overwhelmed by them and come to understand that all thoughts and feelings, including negative or difficult ones, can pass by without you needing to act on them. You will learn how to do this without criticism and develop a more curious and kindly way of just being a friendly observer without experiencing everything personally or unkindly. Allowing you to develop:
• Better focus and concentration
• Raised self-awareness
• Better conflict resolution skills
• Increased calm
• Better ways to respond to difficult emotions
• Increased empathy and understanding of others
What other people have said following the eight-week course:
“…..helps you smile inside!”
“Experience peace and quiet in my mind”
“Happier and more resilient”
“I can now respond with more patience and greater flexibility to difficult emotions and experiences”
“Better focus to concentrate on things”
“…and helped me understand my thoughts and feelings so I could manage them in a more helpful way – brilliant!”
If this sounds like something you think you will benefit from, please call our office on 01900 821976 and book yourself on one of the free introduction sampler sessions.
More information for sessions and programmes:
Just before the programmes start, we are offering a free Introduction sampler session. This session will give you an opportunity to meet the trainer and gain a better understanding of what mindfulness.
Millom: Millom Network Centre from 10.00am to 1.00pm, intro session on Tuesday 31st January (also includes a free lunch).
The eight week programme at Millom will start on Tuesday 14th February up to the 4th April (morning sessions 10.00am-12noon) with trainer Margaret Beck.
Whitehaven: Grace Church, the George Street Centre, Whitehaven from 6.00pm to 8.00pm, intro session on Wednesday 15th February 2017 (with refreshments).
The eight week programme at Whitehaven will start on Wednesday 22nd February to 12th April (evenings 6.00 - 8.00pm).
Wigton: The Market Hall, Church Street, Wigton. Introduction session will be Thursday 23rd March from 6.00pm to 8.00pm (with refreshments).
PLEASE NOTE: The course will take place in the "Solway Room" delegates should enter the venue via the cafe entrance.
The eight week programme at Wigton will start on Thursday 6th April to 25th May (evening 6.00pm – 8.00pm).
To book your place at this session please call 01900 821976.
The courses are open to Carers who have not previously attended a Mindfulness Meditation course with us.