Stress reduction through mindfullness

Stress reduction through Mindfulness – 8 week course
While short bursts of pressure can help us rise to meet a challenge, long-term stress can impact on our physical and mental health. Mindfulness is a way of learning how to relate directly to your everyday experiences. It’s a way of taking charge of your life and doing something for yourself. Put simply Mindfulness is about living in the here and now and learning how to relate directly to your everyday experiences.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) incorporates techniques like meditation, gentle yoga and mind-body exercises to help you cope with stress. It’ll help you become more aware and being aware will help you cope with stress, manage pain, get in tune with your feelings and stop dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. It’ll support you to get more out of life.

What’s the evidence?
Recent research has shown that learning mindfulness as part of an eight week course can lead to measurable changes in the parts of the brain important for self-awareness, memory, learning and compassion. Other benefits highlighted by clinical studies are:

a 70 per cent reduction in anxiety
an ongoing reduction in anxiety three years after taking the course
longer and better quality sleep, with fewer sleep disturbances

Personal commitment
Mindfulness is something that everyone has within them: we all have the capacity to become more aware. However, to get the most out of the course it’s important to commit to attending each session and to some home practice. For the home practice we ask you to set aside 50 minutes each day to practice the skills you have learnt.

Your tutor
Your course will be led by an experienced facilitator who has trained with the Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice at Bangor University to lead Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

Initial Consultation
Once you’ve been accepted onto the course you’ll be contacted to arrange a 30 to 60 minute consultation with your tutor, either in person or over the ‘phone. This gives you the chance to find out more about the course, ask questions, talk about the stresses and problems you’re facing, what you’re expecting and any worries you may have.

Course Structure and resources.
The course is divided into eight weekly sessions, with an extra day long session which is usually held on a Saturday. The course is very practical and you’ll spend most of the time learning and trying out the meditation, yoga and body movement exercises, although there’ll also be some discussion and we may watch a DVD. You’ll be given handouts and CDs for home practice.

Find out more
If you think an in-depth Mindfulness course could be helpful you can contact the Parabl partnership, and someone will ring you back to talk your issues through in more detail and help you decide if the course might be right for you.

Parabl also offers other services including stress and depression management courses, guided self-help, bereavement counselling and one to one therapy. So, even if Mindfulness isn’t for you we may be able to help with another approach.