Mindfulness in Brighton - 8-week courses in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Mindfulness courses have become increasingly popular in recent years, with their enormous benefits in reducing stress and anxiety and increasing our ability to appreciate and enjoy life. Mindfulness can also help if you are feeling that life is moving too fast and your mind is all over the place, and that you would like to be able to slow down and live in the moment and appreciate things more. Watch a video of Jiva talking about the course.
Can anyone practice mindfulness?
Mindfulness can benefit a wide variety people, regardless of age, job, education, nationality, cultural background or religion. You also do not need to sit on the floor! Mindfulness focuses on what's happening now and how we're dealing with it, rather than delving back into the past. Although it has 'therapy' in the name of the course, this is not therapy in the sense of psychotherapy. You can watch a video about the research has shown that when we are more present, we feel happier. Or read the article here.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of deliberately paying attention to your experience in the moment, with a curious and open mind. We pay attention to how our bodies feel, to sounds, moods and emotions. You do not need to 'clear your mind' in order to practice mindfulness; everyone's mind is full of thoughts. You also don't need to 'be any good at meditation'; a mindful awareness allows and encompasses all of our experience whether we feel calm and relaxed or restless and fidgety. Thoughts are not a problem in themselves, but negative thought patterns can become problematic when we believe them. By giving more attention to our physical experience, thoughts start to lose their hold over us and we learn to step back and get some perspective.
Mindfulness for managing stress, anxiety and depression.
Stress, anxiety and depression are common problems, in fact everyone experiences some form of stress at some point in their lives. Mindfulness reduces the level of stress or anxiety to more manageable levels and gives you tools to work with stress, anxiety or depression. It helps with depression by giving you tools to not engage in rumination, obsessive thinking about what's wrong, endless worrying about the future or self-critical thinking. All of these thought patterns maintain anxiety and depression but the good news is that you can learn to not have them running the show.
8-week mindfulness courses have been proven again and again to help people manage or reduce common difficulties such as stress, anxiety and low mood.
There is a sizable (and growing) body of medical research that demonstrates the benefits of mindfulness courses: in reducing stress, anxiety and panic attacks, reducing the risk of relapse into depression, in improving sleep, improving concentration, improving relationships of all kinds, learning to live with tinnitus, learning to live with chronic or serious illness or pain and helping with disordered eating. In my years of teaching I have seen significant improvements in course participants in all of these areas.
Helping stress in the workplace
For many people, their workplace is a major source of stress. Many workplaces, including Google and Transport for London, are now running courses for staff. Recent research shows mindfulness can greatly improve employee focus and behaviour and help employees deal with inevitable stresses. If you would like to discuss having a mindfulness course at your workplace, please get in touch.
I first came across mindfulness in 1997 and soon started to notice how much better I felt when I practiced regularly. In 2008 I heard about the MSc programme at Bangor University and enthusiastically joined up, keen to learn to share mindfulness with others. I started teaching in 2009 and completed the MSc in 2013. In that time I have taught the 8-week course over 100 times, including 40 1-1 courses, 70 group courses and teaching for research trials. I have taught a wide range of participants of all ages and from all walks of life. I love teaching people how to calm themselves, manage difficulties and be kinder to themselves. I am fully insured and supervised and follow the Good Practice Guidelines.
I am also a Trained Teacher of Mindful Self Compassion.
In 2020 my paper I'm getting something out of this so I'm going to stick with it: supporting participants' home practice in Mindfulness Based Programmes was published in BMC Psychology online journal for open access.