Mindfulness - what are the benefits? - Thrive Mindfulness & Wellbeing
What is mindfulness and what are the benefits?
Ok so we are going back to basics in this blog. Why? Because I’m running a new course in January and would love everyone to benefit from this amazing practice. I also get a lot of emails asking me questions about the course, so thought this could be a good way to answer them all.
Mindfulness is in a nutshell, present moment awareness training. It’s bringing our awareness back over and over again to the present moment. Just as we go to the gym to train and strengthen our muscles in our body so we practice mindfulness to strengthen new neural pathways in our brain. These mindful pathways allows us to respond to stress rater than react in our normal negative automatic ways. So it doesn’t take stress away but rather it allows us to deal with stress better. This can be everyday stress that we all face or to more severe anxiety and depression. In fact mindfulness has been shown to reduce the risk of relapse back into depression.
It’s also great for our physical health as well, lowering our blood pressure, boosting our immune system and reducing risk of strokes and heart attacks. Mindfulness has also been found to help you be more creative, make better decisions and be more focused and last but definitely not least to be happier, to experience more joy! So you can hopefully see some of the benefits already. Please don’t just take my word for it though, we have lots of evidence now to back this up and this can be seen on our website www.thrivemindfulnessnorwich.co.uk
But is it weird or mystical?
No, it’s completely secular; people from any faith or none at all can access mindfulness and feel the benefits. That’s the great thing about it, it’s accessible to everyone. You also don’t have to sit on the floor or wear anything special, you don’t need candles or incense! In the course we either sit on a Chair or lay down on mats, it’s up to you. The most important thing is you are comfortable. We learn that you. An indeed practice mindfulness anywhere at any time.
But is it a lot of work?
Well like anything you get out what you put in. However, we try and make the course as accessible as possible and we know you are busy. There is a home practice element to the course but this is only 10-20 mins for 6 out of 7 days a week for the 8 week course. It’s up to you how much you do you can stick to the 10 min meditations or move up to the longer practices whatever works for you.
What about practice after the course has finished?
Well a regular practice can be difficult to sustain; that’s why the course is designed to give you many different tools to use so you find the right one or combination for you. We also run a regular monthly meet up for graduates of the course to refresh your practice and meet up with others to support your practice.
Who will be on the course?
We always keep the course nice and small so you feel comfortable to talk and likewise there is no pressure either to talk in the group. People come from a wide variety of backgrounds and we get a great mix of professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, teacher nurses, retired people wanting to try something new, people who have anxiety, parents struggling with the demands of a family and work life balance, people with chronic pain, people who just want to experience more joy in their life. So you can see it really does appeal to anyone, which is great for the course. It’s usually a really fun, supportive group and people look forward to coming every week and say they can’t believe the course went that quickly!
Each session is two hours that’s pretty long?
Each session contains a mixture of theory and practical exercises and two meditation practices. Students usually say it goes pretty fast and We also have the all important tea break usually with chocolate biscuits!