Mindfulness: Braintraining for Resiliency
Everybody’s doing it. Mindfulness has even reached the corridors of power as over 100 MPs have, so far, undergone mindfulness training.
Research suggests that MBSR courses can be helpful as a single treatment to manage stress in individuals who do not experience mental ill health, as well as a joint intervention with other treatments for people who have symptoms of anxiety.
MBSR has an increasingly strong evidence base in a variety of settings and is recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) in treating depression.
The results of MBSR in the workplace include a decrease in perceived stress, and an increase in concentration levels, including memory tasks and multi-tasking. (W R Marchand, “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and Zen Meditation for Depression, Anxiety, Pain, and Psychological Distress”, 2012).
Why do Mindfulness?
Ever felt that your mind was filled with uninvited guests as thoughts that criticise, judge, invalidate all around you, but most of all, yourself?
Do you find yourself lost in the past – wounds, slights, ancient grudges, miserable moments or nostalgia for happier times?
Do you find your mind filled with to do lists planning the future – your weekly shop, next career move, organising a holiday, worrying about money or how you’ll measure up for some event that may never even happen?
With thoughts like these, it’s not surprising you wind up feeling worried, anxious, bleak and depressed.
When the mind is crammed with an ever spinning mass of thoughts, we miss the magic of ordinary moments that make up our lives – the first jets of warm water in a morning shower, the miracle of placing one foot after another as we walk, savouring each morsel of a lunchtime sandwich, cherishing each sensation of the breath in the body or the feel of the duvet against our skin. You are, in fact, missing out on your own life.
What is Mindfulness?
The eight week mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) course was designed by Jon Kabatt Zinn, MD, Professor Emeritus at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and Associate Professor of Medicine in Preventive and Behavioural Medicine. A secular course with practices taken from Buddhist and yoga traditions, the course aims to help people learn to concentrate on the present moment, develop a kinder more accepting attitude to themselves and others and in doing so find the contentment that had previously eluded them.
Each week of the course focuses on a specific theme related to stress awareness with participants guided through the four main mindfulness practices that develop greater body awareness by locating and dissolving physical tension, mental clarity through breathing techniques, decreased tension with gentle yoga-based movement and increased concentration through meditation.
Find out more about upcoming courses here.
Please email me if you would like to find out more about arranging a taster session for your workplace event.