It’s possible they may benefit from the gift of mindfulness.
I sometimes receive queries from individuals who have done a mindfulness course and love how it has influenced their lives. They then wish to buy a course for a stressed and overworked family member.
It could be a sister, other family member or a good friend.
If that person is ready and wants to, then it’s a lovely thing to give the gift of mindfulness. And don’t forget – the gift of mindfulness is something you can give yourself too!
What is Mindfulness?
More people have heard of mindfulness now.
In our largely secular society it has become a very popular way to deal with stress and anxiety. It’s also an approach to get back to enjoying life more fully.
Being mindful in your life means you are more conscious of your behaviour. It’s a way of being more present in your life.
We spend a lot of our time inside our heads with all kinds of thoughts spinning round. We dash about with work and other commitments. Our minds and bodies are often disconnected.
Mindfulness gives you a way to remember that you can be aware of this in any moment. Consequently you can be in charge of doing things differently!
The Habit of Mindfulness
If you’ve ever implemented a new habit such as going to the gym or changing your eating habits you will know how challenging it can be! We are ‘creatures of habit’ and learning to behave differently can take us out of our comfort zone.
We spend a high proportion of our days on auto-pilot. This is where we are going about our tasks with very little conscious awareness of what we are doing.
Have you ever driven past your exit on the by-pass because your mind was ‘elsewhere’ or arrived home with no memory of the journey? That’s being on auto-pilot!
This auto-pilot also applies to our thoughts.
Our negative, judgmental, anxious or depressive thoughts are all on auto-pilot.
We have thought them before and we will continue to think them unless we become more aware, and choose how to change them.
This is a life-time’s habitual thinking so it’s not going to change overnight but learning about mindfulness can be the beginning of an incredible on-going life skill.
This ability of the brain to change its neural pathways is known as plasticity.
It basically means that you are never too old to learn something new! You can learn a new language or a musical instrument – the key to it is that you need to practice regularly!
Learning to be mindful is the same. The gift of mindfulness is for you and for others.
What are the Benefits of Mindfulness?
- You learn how to become aware of and deal with negative experiences like anxiety, anger and depression
- You learn how to manage stress effectively and how to enjoy the good moments (believe it or not, many of us are so busy and preoccupied that we don’t really enjoy the good bits either!)
- It can be very helpful to manage chronic daily pain
- You remember that you are a human being not simply a human doing
The Gift of Mindfulness: Learn to be Mindful
A 6-Week Course with a group is one way to learn, giving you the basics to evolve with you for a lifetime.
It’s helpful to attend a class (online or in person) because our brains are very happy to follow the neural pathways of our daily habits. It takes regular practice, and learning alongside a group can be supportive and give you an element of accountability, as well as being enjoyable!
Of course, it also means you can ask any questions you need along the way and a good teacher will keep you inspired.
Here is is some feedback from Place of Serenity participants. Follow the link for more Testimonials.
What worked well for me was the simple approach to meditation and mindfulness, understanding the science behind it and how your thoughts and feelings affect your wellbeing. I found the course absorbing, inspiring and motivational.
K P, Clanfield
I really enjoyed the course – its accessibility and simplicity has given me a new skill in dealing with stress and remaining calm in my everyday life.
D K, Cosham
The loving, compassionate and accessible teachings show you how to experience life from a more observational perspective, allowing you to break from the constant looping of mind and emotion chatter. Through the practice of the meditations you learn how this can be applied to every moment that you choose.
H R, Hartley Wintney
Ruby Wax, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Tara Brach are just a handful of authors/teachers you may find interesting to look up.
Of course, being a Mindfulness and Meditation Guide, I am biased when I say anyone can benefit from learning mindfulness!
But I know that it’s not a quick-fix solution, it’s an attitude you bring to your life and it can set you up on an experience of self-exploration!
Mindfulness Meditation forms the foundation stone of the Buddhist way of life, so it stems from a place of integrity and depth. I believe that we could have a peaceful, caring world if we all learnt to be more mindful.
If you are interested in the gift of mindfulness and buying a Mindfulness Course for a friend or a loved one, you’d need to chat with them first to see if they are on board with this.
There is a commitment to practicing every day. If it’s something you’ve thought of doing, perhaps you would like to attend a class with a friend or partner. Place of Serenity is based in the East Hampshire area of the UK and I also offer online Courses. See here for details of the Group 6-Week Course or alternatively, 1-1 Personalised Courses.
Another resource to learn more about mindfulness is the website: www.mindful.org
Small pocket books for inspiration by Yvette Jane
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness and Meditation Guide
This blog post has been updated since first published in December 2014