Derwent Rural Counselling Service is launching its first mindfulness group in Buxton.
Mindfulness is for people who want to change their life, learning to practice mindfulness is a very effective thing to do.
According to the NHS, studies have found that mindfulness programmes, where participants are taught mindfulness practices across a series of weeks, can bring about reductions in stress and improvements in mood. In short, everybody can benefit physically, emotionally and mentally from learning mindfulness techniques. It can contribute to greater peace of mind, better sleep and more productivity at work as well as to feeling happier or to having better relationships with others.
It is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) as a way to prevent depression in people who have had depression in the past.The new course “Mindfulness Based Therapy” will run for eight weeks beginning Monday October 30 from 5-7pm in a central venue in Buxton.
The course is run by Geraldine Thomas who is a qualified and experienced Mindfulness Practitioner and teacher. Geraldine has run many courses and DRCS is delighted that she has joined their team of therapists and is now able to run the course for them.
She will be assisted by Ian Mountford who is a qualified counsellor and has worked with DRCS for a number of years. He has a particular interest in Mindfulness and will often use it when working therapeutically with clients.
It is expected that demand for the course will be high as Mindfulness has been growing in popularity for the last few years.
Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness.
Here’s a few tips:
Notice the everyday
“Even as we go about our daily lives, we can notice the sensations of things, the food we eat, the air moving past the body as we walk,” says Professor Mark Williams former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. “All this may sound very small, but it has huge power to interrupt the ‘autopilot’ mode we often engage day to day, and to give us new perspectives on life.”
Keep it regular
It can be helpful to pick a regular time – the morning journey to work or a walk at lunchtime – during which you decide to be aware of the sensations created by the world around you.
Try something new
Trying new things, such as sitting in a different seat in meetings or going somewhere new for lunch, can also help you notice the world in a new way.
Watch your thoughts
“Some people find it very difficult to practice mindfulness. As soon as they stop what they’re doing, lots of thoughts and worries crowd in,” says Professor Williams.
“It might be useful to remember that mindfulness isn’t about making these thoughts go away, but rather about seeing them as mental events.
“Imagine standing at a bus station and seeing ‘thought buses’ coming and going without having to get on them and be taken away. This can be very hard at first, but with gentle persistence it is possible.
“Some people find that it is easier to cope with an over-busy mind if they are doing gentle yoga or walking.”
Name thoughts and feelings
To develop an awareness of thoughts and feelings, some people find it helpful to silently name them: “Here’s the thought that I might fail that exam”. Or, “This is anxiety”.
Free yourself from the past and future
You can practise mindfulness anywhere, but it can be especially helpful to take a mindful approach if you realise that, for several minutes, you have been “trapped” in reliving past problems or “pre-living” future worries.
Different mindfulness practices
As well as practising mindfulness in daily life, it can be helpful to set aside time for a more formal mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness meditation involves sitting silently and paying attention to thoughts, sounds, the sensations of breathing or parts of the body, bringing your attention back whenever the mind starts to wander.
If you would like to join a group or require further information please contact DRCS on 01629 812710 and ask to speak to Kim Heappey, Training and Group Co-ordinator for Derwent Rural Counselling Service.