What is wellbeing? The government defines wellbeing as ‘a positive physical, social and mental state’. Mental wellbeing encompass factors such as:
The sense of feeling good about ourselves and being able to function well individually or in relationships
The ability to deal with the ups and downs of life, such as coping with challenges and making the most of opportunities
The feeling of connection to our community and surroundings
Having control and freedom over our lives
Having a sense of purpose and feeling valued
Mental wellbeing does not mean being happy all the time and it does not mean you won’t experience negative or painful emotions, such as grief, loss, or failure, which are a part of normal life. However, whatever your age, mindfulness can help you lead a mentally healthier life and improve your wellbeing.
What is Mindfulness? There are a lot of misconceptions regarding meditation, so it is good to clearly define what it is. Meditation or Mindfulness once learnt is a simple mind body practice that enables yourself to increase wellbeing through quieting the mind, increasing self awareness and allowing focused relaxation. It is a skill that can be learnt by anybody and is surprisingly simple to do. During meditation you:
learn how to calm yourself rapidly
discover how to identify and let go of physical and mental stress
learn to watch your thoughts and emotions without judgement
enjoy mental clarity and awareness
How can mindfulness meditation help? There are no funny positions to get into, no belief systems to adopt, you simply learn a new skill. Meditation, is now becoming more mainstream with support from medical professionals. It is fast becoming one of the better studied alternative therapies, with a range of health benefits for people in different circumstances with varying problems from stress, anxiety to chronic and acute conditions. After our courses and workshops you will be able to relax and calm your body and mind. With practice you will be able to do this on your own, any where and at any time you needed it. In brief, people meditate to:
relax, de-stress and fall asleep
improve their health
remain calm and balanced throughout the day
develop greater awareness
stimulate creative thinking
cope better with pain and sadness
find happiness, beauty and meaning
There is a growing scientific evidence that meditation truly works.
Is mindfulness for me? Mindfulness is recommended as a treatment for some people who experience common mental health problems, such as stress, anxiety and depression. It’s also for those who simply want to improve their mental health and wellbeing. Depending on what you’re looking for, there are di erent ways to learn mindfulness, which can help people in different ways. Anyone can learn and practise mindfulness. How do you learn mindfulness? Mindfulness can be practised in person, either through a group course, workshops, relaxation class or private tuition with a trained mindfulness coach like Simon Fry. There are online courses (start here by typing in your email address), books and audio, too, where you can learn through self-directed practice at home. Even though mindfulness is understood to have Buddhist origins, you don’t need to be religious or spiritual to practise mindfulness.
Myths about Meditation Having an empty mind -nope, in fact, when you start meditating, you'll find its quite the opposite Sitting in lotus position -nope, you can sit on the couch (just don't lie down, you'll fall asleep) Sitting for an hour a day -nope, small doses work just fine Chanting in a language I don't understand -nope, not unless that floats your boat Buddhist, Hindu or religious -nope, not unless you make it so Weird -what's so weird about sitting and breathing? Wearing robes -what?
I can't meditate because... I can't clear my mind -no worries, while you're sitting there you'll experience the noisy chaos of a wound up mind that's unwinding: tons of thoughts, feelings and emotions. Don't worry about how you feel during, notice how you feel after and throughout the rest of the day.
I can't sit still -that's ok, just sit comfortably, fidget if you need to.
I get anxious -that's normal, all the junk's coming up, learn some breathing practices to calm yourself down, exercise or do some mindful movement before meditating.
I hate sitting still -that's fine, then go for a walk without your earphones, phone etc; or start with some mindful movement; or do breathing exercises…give yourself time to just "be" without constantly "doing" something.
I tried and I hated it - there's not just one kind of meditation, there's a whole menu out there, look for the shoe that fits.
I don't have time - if you have time to read this all the way through, then you have time to meditate. Think of all those minutes you waste every day on the internet. You can definitely fit in 10 minutes here or there to give your life a boost! Gandhi is quoted as saying "I'm so busy today, that... I'm going to meditate 2 hours instead of 1."
Here is some feedback from people who Simon has worked with that have already learnt how meditation and mindfulness can help them.
"I found being part of a meditation group a powerful experience and it's great to have meditation in my tool bag when I need it" - Alex, attended a 4 week course.
"After starting to learn to meditate by my self, I found this course very helpful in focusing my technique and giving me determination to get in to a regular routine" - Pauline, attended a 4 week course.
"A very positive experience with clear approaches to continue a sustainable practice" - Clare, attended a 4 week course.
"Thank you - I have enjoyed learning and experiencing some of the different types of meditation" - Lindsay, attended a four week course.
"A really helpful course. It turns out that meditation is easier than I thought" - kim, attended a 4 week course.
"Thank you for an interesting and effective session. I have learnt a lot and the last hour was extremely powerful and moving. Thank you again." - Linda, attended a half day workshop.
"Extremely helpful and refreshing with inspirational input. Thank you." Jenny, attended a half day workshop.
"This has been excellent and I would go as far as saying it could be life changing." - Penny, attended a half day workshop.