Mindfulness for Individuals
We offer Mindfulness for Individuals because we recognise that life can be pretty tough at times. Mindfulness Training is an opportunity for you to learn how to take care of yourself. Have you ever noticed what happens when you try to take care of others before you take care of yourself? It usually ends up with sleep deprivation, exhaustion and possibly burnout or illness.
Mindfulness can be used as a method of self-managing your stress levels by self-regulating your body’s responses to difficulties, stress and trauma. Once you are aware of your thoughts, feelings, emotions and bodily sensations, you can choose how to best to look after yourself before looking after others, from a more resilient place.
Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
All the Mindfulness training offered at Inner Space Works is based on Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR). The MBSR programme was originally developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 at the Massachusetts Medical Centre.
The programme served as a “training vehicle for the relief of suffering” for patients referred by physicians and healthcare professionals, who were having to deal with stress, pain and illness in their lives.
From the initial programmes being run at the Massachusetts Medical Centre, MBSR became a model for other hospitals and medical centres to use. Some 40 years later, the MBSR programme has been adapted to other environments in which stress, emotional and physical pain are present such as workplaces, UK parliament, prisons, charities and schools.
Think of when you plant a seedling into the earth. The seedling needs nurturing and caring for with water, food and sunshine. If we think about our mind and body in the same way, we soon learn to recognise what our mind and body need in order to be healthy and to feel good.
If that sounds too soft and fluffy to you, then perhaps consider the time when you stepped into the gym for the first time – Did you go straight to the free weights area and lift a 100kg barbell? No, probably not! If you had done, you’d have severely torn a muscle or worse still, put your back out! So, Mindfulness meditation is very similar in the way that we begin by starting where we are (and I hate to tell you this but very often, we don’t even know where we are to start with!) and we build resilience in the mind.
Reasons people want to learn mindfulness and take a mindfulness course
You might be sensing that something is simply not ‘right’ in your life. This could be at work or in your personal life. You might be feeling restless, unsettled, full of anxiety about the future, or low about challenging events that have happened in the past, that you can’t let go of.
We are so used to rushing through life, heading for goals with our heads down, really knuckling down, pushing forwards, sometimes not noticing or appreciating the important events and people in our lives. People are generally incredibly busy and it can often be difficult to focus our attention on the tasks that matter the most.
Our minds become cluttered and full and we sometimes have the sense of not being able to see clearly, but we soldier on as there appears to be no alternative. Mindfulness offers us an alternative – by becoming more self-aware of our thoughts, feelings, emotions and bodily sensations we are able to take control and we are able to re-wire, re-frame and learn new ways of thinking and being.
In life, we get so used to looking for problems to solve and wanting a quick way to solve them that we can find ourselves ignoring or pushing the problem aside. And, because life is life, we are then faced with another problem and, because we do not have the time or patience to fully resolve the issue, we bury it, or ‘sweep it under the carpet’, or ignore it. And so the pattern repeats again and again.
Mindfulness helps us to face up to difficulties or problems by teaching us how to approach the problem or difficulty with a different attitude, one of openness, curiosity, interest and intrigue.
We learn to look at problem-solving differently, discovering how our body reacts with an automatic response of Fight, Flight or Freeze which, if prolonged can cause physical and psychological symptoms such as high blood pressure, aching, tense muscles, anxiety or depression.
Through Mindfulness training, we learn to listen to our mind and body giving us the ‘heads up’, a warning if something is not quite right.
Through Mindfulness training, we cultivate qualities that can help us to take control of our lives, such as awareness, curiosity, kindness, compassion and empathy.