As a past student at the British School of Meditation I was delighted to be asked by Mary Pearson and Helen Galpin to write a blog about the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course. Thank you for requesting this.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS TRAINING?
Mindfulness training, which is simple and effective, learnt in only a few weeks, with no equipment required, encourages a scientifically, evidenced based and sustainable solution to help better manage health and wellbeing, minimize burn-out and stress, and maximise people’s potential for happiness, purpose, positivity, and performance whether at work or home.
Mindfulness helps us to step outside the busy ‘head’ state of ‘automatic pilot’ and gives us the opportunity to pay attention more in the present moment in a non-judgmental manner. Harvard University research from 2010 by psychologists Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert and still so true today suggests that people spend up to 46.9% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they are doing. This partial attention can have huge implications both in the workplace or at leisure. Mindfulness can help to address this issue by using a combination of meditation and contemporary techniques, tools and strategies enabling participants to ‘live smarter not harder and build resilience to life’s many ups and downs.’ (There is also information relating to stress, health, pain management, interpersonal Mindful communications, and the integration of Mindfulness into everyday activity).
It may sound alien to encourage clients to align with the present moment but by learning to do this, in a way that suspends judgement, criticism and self-criticism, we can notice and see clearly what is going on and develop the ability to step away from habitual, often unconscious emotional and physiological reactions to events and then learn to respond more skilfully. This leads to taking better decisions, making better choices, being able to regulate our emotions, and reducing stress.
It does not get rid of life’s many pressures, but we can certainly change our relationality to them, and learn to respond more calmly and in a way that creates a more positive impact in our lives and others.
Over time Mindfulness gives people the possibility of returning much more speedily from a stressful situation to a sense of balance, equilibrium, and peace (no matter how difficult or intense a situation might have been). This can play a significant role in enhancing our psychological and physical wellbeing as a result.
After all the way we orientate ourselves NOW, effects the NOW that follows. It becomes a springboard which influences the moments that follow.
WHO IS MINDFULNESS FOR?
Everyone….. simply everyone from every walk of life, young or old. It is not a religion and anyone with any belief system can enjoy the potential benefits of Mindfulness. It isn’t just a technique for improving focus and performance and/or dealing with problems, pressures, chronic pain, stress, and anxiety, it is also an amazingly effective way to enable anyone to simply be and feel the best they can be and to enhance and enrich an already happy existence. It is practiced in many different settings including at home, at work, healthcare, in education, prisons, the armed forces, in sport and theatrical performance to name but a few.
If you are interested to learn more or participate in a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course, whether in the workplace or as an individual, please contact Bonnie Roberts, from Positive Consultancy Ltd who runs workshops in Stress Reduction and Resilience through Mindfulness & Meditation for businesses, organisations, groups and individuals.