Restarts for 2021 on Friday 22nd January
Practising mindfulness can reduce anxiety and help us cope in uncertain times.
Practising in a group can bring renewed motivation, focus and warmth to your practice.
Maintain your mindfulness and learn even more with Mel Wraight. Mel will lead a couple of practices each session with short periods for reflection and discussion in between. This class assumes some basic knowledge or experience of mindfulness practice.
Join with Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8317387025
or email me for BACs transfer details
How to use Zoom.us
Go to Zoom.us
Click JOIN A MEETING
Enter ID number: 8317387025
From a PC or Mac you can just click on this “Join with Zoom” link. If you haven’t used Zoom before you may be prompted to download software. It is free to you (I have a pro account I pay for).
From a smartphone or iPad you will need to download the “Zoom Cloud Meetings” app first then enter ID 8317387025 when prompted.
If you want to view the powerpoint from my change resiliency workshop for Nottingham University staff click here:
My five favorite books to bring you sunshine!
There are a few books I have read in my life that I find myself recommending time and again to people. These are the books that I think can make a real difference to how to see and live life. With summer coming and time to read and think I hope you enjoy my selection of 5 books for greater happiness in life.
The Happiness Hypothesis: Jonathan Haidt
Jonathan Haidt draws on ancient wisdom, philosophy and modern psychology to describe what they all agree are the things most likely to make us happy in life. This provides a well-written and engaging manual on how to improve your experience of living. Best of all his style is easy to read and understand.
The Consolations of Philosophy: Alain de Botton.
De Botton is a philosopher for modern times who has turned his attention to many of the difficulties of our lives; mood, love, work, religion, status anxiety and even architecture. In this book he explores the ancient philosophers and draws out wisdom which holds true across the centuries in an accessible and engaging style.
Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food: Dr Jan Chozen Bays
Dr Bays is a medic with a deep understanding of mindfulness. This book helped
me meditate on and understand why I eat what I eat. I love food and this book didn’t tell me t
restrict myself but to pay attention to what really nourishes me and keeps me feeling well. It includes a CD od lovely practices some of which I have adapted and recorded and made available on my website: https://www.stillpointmindfulness.co.uk
The mindful path to self-compassion: Freeing yourself form destructive thoughts and emotions: Chris Germer
Dr Germer is an american clinical psychologist who alongside Dr Kristen Neff has pioneered much mindfulness work in the area of developing self compassion. I use this book to help me with overly self-critical thoughts, thoughts that I am not good enough and with just allowing myself to be human and vulnerable! It helped me understand what self-compassion looks and sounds like.
Hardwiring Happiness: How to Reshape Your Brain and Your Life: Dr Rick Hanson
Rick Hanson is a clinical psychologist who draws on personal and professional experience and his research in neuroscience. This book provides practical strategies to overcome the tendency of the mind to focus on the negative in life and build up our capacity to “take in the good”, however tiny in our day to day lives. I love it!
Mindfulness includes meditation practice drawn from Buddhist traditions. When teaching the skills of mindfulness it is common to teach meditation techniques that focus primarily on observing what is going on in the body or mind. This kind of meditation makes its focus the “felt experience” of the individual. This can be affirming and empowering as one’s own experience is always with us and is used as a healthy ground for learning about living in the moment. It helps people develop increased emotional regulation (the ability to manage emotions up or down) by introducing them to what is going on in their bodies, minds and emotions and helping them see how to stay with that experience long enough to respond wisely.
This meditation is sometimes called “formal practice” is often of a prescribed or decided length, done sitting or lying or standing in a deliberate posture, with or without guidance to stay with the practice. We are practicing directing and sustaining the attention and in doing so developing the muscle of attention and becoming familiar with our capacity for awareness and unawareness.
But formal meditation is not the only way to practice mindfulness. The quality of awareness cultivated in formal practice can also be brought to daily activity by becoming “mindful”. Research suggests that about half the time we are not really aware of what we are doing http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/does_mind_wandering_make_you_unhappy, instead our actions are on autopilot while our minds think about something else. It’s a useful state to be able to enter but if the mind is, for instance, constantly worrying about the past or the future it can be exhausting and demoralising. We literally miss the experience of living the life we have in the moments we have.
Informal practice or becoming “mindful” might include might include really listening to our children or friends as they ask us questions or tell us their thoughts rather than thinking about chores that need to be done or what we will say next. It can be dropping in to present moment experience while washing up: feeling the hot water, the weight of the plate and watching the water run off. It can even be just stopping to feel our feet on the ground as we stand waiting at the bus stop or zebra crossing. Informal practice typically lasts for shorter periods of time but is done more frequently than formal practice and can bring a real sense of the joy of being alive.