Upcoming Mindfulness Course in Bristol – 17 March 2015

Mindfulness is a way of life. It is characterised by our willingness to open ourselves up completely to the present moment and experience the fullness of our day-to-day existence, with its highs and lows.

Where did Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction come from?

Even though the ancient techniques of mindfulness have been practised for thousands of years by many people around the world, the therapeutic application of mindfulness began in 1970’s with the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn. With his colleagues, Kabat-Zinn developed a structured 8-week course in which he taught people suffering from chronic pain and stress a new way of relating to their difficulties. He observed that many of us cause ourselves additional distress and pain through fighting and rejecting our bodily, cognitive and emotional experience.

In his Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses, he gradually taught his patients to embrace their painful sensations, thoughts and feelings, with a sense of acceptance, openness and curiosity. He realised that this shift in relating to our ‘negative’ experience had a profound therapeutic effect as he saw many people re-discover their sense of well-being and balance.

A Revolutionary Approach

From this point of view, mindfulness is a revolutionary approach to the challenges of life. Usually, when going through difficult times, many of us would automatically (and understandably) resort to reactions that are characterised by an increased cognitive activity, ‘problem-solving’, and a general wish to find a solution as soon as possible.

There is nothing wrong with looking for solutions. In fact, the ability of human beings to overcome problems and dilemmas by engaging the thinking mind is what allowed us to evolve into highly sophisticated creatures.

When ‘Problem Solving’ Becomes a Problem

However, we all encounter situations that cannot be solved through ‘thinking our way out of them’. The loss of a beloved one or a long-term illness, for example, require an approach that will soothe our busy mind and allow us to rest with the reality of our condition. Mindfulness gives us exactly that – a space where we can be with ourselves in a supportive, non-judgemental and allowing way. Through familiarising ourselves again and again with the technique of bringing our attention back to the present moment, we gradually learn how to step out of the downward spiral of negative thinking or painful emotional responses and find within ourselves a well of resources and restfulness that seemed to be inaccessible before.

Want to Learn Mindfulness?

I run Mindfulness Courses (MBSR) in Bristol and also offer Individual Mindfulness sessions.

Please contact me or call 0117 376 3495 to book a session.

I have more than 10 years of experience with practising mindfulness and have been teaching it to others in many different settings. I completed the teacher training programme in mindfulness-based approaches with the Bangor University and am running mindfulness-based cognitive therapy courses for a primary care mental health service in North Somerset.