Mindfullness Classes In Dorset Living

Cover West Dorset Living Mindfullness classes

Published in West Dorset Living Magazine Sept/Oct 14

We all lead busy lives and we are bombarded with people talking ‘at’ us – but sometimes it is hard to decide if anyone is actually listening – tell us about your Mindfulness classes

Mindfulness is the art of conscious living. So many of us are caught up in thinking about the past or the future and not living in the present moment. The truth is that we only have one moment and that is this moment. The opposite would be living on autopilot Mind-less-ly! Mindfulness isn’t about empting your mind of thoughts as we all produce thoughts as that’s what the mind does. What we can do is become calm and watch the thoughts to help us understand ourselves and our actions.

Attending my mindfulness group will cultivate a greater awareness of your own being. It is paying attention in a particular way to give a greater awareness, clarity and acceptance of the present moment. I suppose it’s the opposite of taking life for granted.

If stress and anxiety impact on your day to day life then mindfulness meditation can help with this, but not by fixing it and making things go away. It’s about relating to things differently not through directly targeting the issues but noticing what’s happening with our thoughts including the things we find difficult.

The groups are small 6-7 people in a comfortable room in Dorchester High West Street over a course of 8 weeks. There will be mindful exercises and open discussions amongst the group. Also mindful meditations observing our thought patterns and emotions. If you have no experience in meditation it really doesn’t matter everyone is welcome. Mindfulness is more about being, rather than doing and requires sensitivity and intuition. It is a skill that needs practice and commitment which is why meeting with like minded others and a facilitator encourages the practice.

Over the period of 8 weeks people usually experience themselves as calmer and less busy in their minds which have a ripple effect on other areas of day to day living. Groups are starting in December and January 7.30pm – 9pm

Please contact Sue on 07867798705 or email: sue.findlay1@btinternet.com for more dates and details.

ArticleCounselling is a word much used – but many people don’t know of the services that are on offer, or indeed who might benefit from them – tell us more…

Yes I am also a qualified counsellor my approach is Person Centred it comes under the humanistic umbrella of counselling. My interest of wellbeing stems from here.

Counselling can be for anyone experiencing inner conflict and finding it difficult to resolve by themselves it could be simple or complex it could be something from the present or from the past. The therapist will have a very attentive non judgemental interest in what you have to say. A therapeutic relationship is built up between the client and therapist, this enables the client to explore and express themselves in a way that evokes change.

One example could be reaching milestones, (life transitions) a time people come for help. Experiencing health problems, losing a family member or even a pet is a time when extra support may be needed. Giving yourself a safe space to explore any issue that is not resolved is always an investment. Counselling can help to see things with more clarity rather than leaving repetitive thoughts to become a burden.

An initial assessment session is usually set up to meet the therapist and agree to work together if the client and therapist feel comfortable with each other. After this weekly sessions are booked at the same time and day for a set number of sessions. The sessions are one to one private and confidential and usually an hour long. The therapist should be registered with a professional body usually the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists) or UKCP and follow a professional code of conduct.

Sometimes we are the last people to realize that we need a little help and may be suffering from stress, while the people around us can see it clearly –  what are the signs of stress that we should look out for?

People feel stressed when they have too much on their mind, too much to do, or they are dealing with stressful situations and feel out of control. It is very much a modern day thing.

Stress can affect us physically and mentally. It can cause anger and short temper. The body is tense and sometimes it can affect our chest with a tightening around the chest and throat. This is the result of our flight and fight response in the body under stressful situations. Adrenaline and Cortisol are released in the body to give us a quick burst of energy to deal with the situation. This is ok in the short term as the body recovers, but when you have emotional stress the effect of the hormones subside more slowly which can leave you feeling agitated for a long time. Long term stress makes it difficult for you to relax which can affect your mental and physical health.

In trying to resolve their feelings people can start to drink too much, eat too much (comfort eating) or too little which can lead to developing an eating disorder. Sleeping can be disturbed and lack of sleep can lead to more stress on the body. With all this going on it is very important to manage your stress by understanding what is stressful in your life and try to do something about it. Again, this is where a therapist could be helpful.

And finally, if you could give us one piece of advice to help us cope with the stresses and strains of 21st century life what would it be?

There are practical things you can do to help such as no computer work 2 hours before bedtime. Switch off your phone and try to wind down telling yourself to relax. Reflect over the day and try to find 3 things you found enjoyable or were grateful for during your day.

But essentially, make time for your life! Try to have time for yourself however short it may be to do something you enjoy even if it is only something very simple. Give yourself permission to take this time, if not each day try for each week.

Be kind to yourself and try to live in the present moment. Come and join my Mindfulness classes!