Mindful Monkey.

Mindfulness for Everyone


Mindfulness/ Meditation: should be available on prescription was a headline which caught my eye (Tuesday 5.1.10 The Guardian). Meditation is a term which brings to mind Eastern religious images. It is a deceptively simple concept. Often in my trainings and therapy I start explaining it in words, then at some point say

“Oh just let me show you what I mean, sit comfortably, with your eyes open or closed…”

In the mindfulness sessions I started to run in Leicester, I noticed a wide variety of people attending, from social workers, nurses, lecturers to students form the local University. At times I would finish work, feeling exhausted, I would drag myself to deliver the session. Then something wonderful would happen. After a 40 minute session I would experience a sense of well-being (I hope the participants did too). There would be an opportunity to speak to some of the participants who wanted to share ideas and ask questions. By the time I made my way home I felt energised, refreshed and in a great mood.

Some people who have recovered from depression and anxiety worry about possible relapse of their problems. Research is showing Mindfulness based therapies can help prevent relapse. People learn skills to use themselves in times of pressure or when working too hard.

So what is it? (more…)

News, Economics and Well-Being


Just a glimpse of unexpected economic news emerged in January 2010. Few could have predicted what appears to be a small reduction in unemployment!

This got me thinking about two recent articles in the press relating to getting people back to work. The first one looked at making Cognitive Behavioural Therapy more widely available, in job centres for example. Lord Layard has been involved in a Government initiative to increase the availability of ‘talking treatments’ for people who could benefit from psychological therapies for problems for a range of issues. (more…)

The thing you are looking for is already within you

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A good few years ago someone said to me that ‘ the things you are looking for are already within you, just look inside’. I didn’t really understand the significance of this sagely sounding advice at the time but have since come to realise just how many levels it works on. For example, next time you have misplaced something and are getting wound up looking for it but not getting anywhere, try this: Just stop, sit down take a slow breath, relax and wait ‘without attachment’. Soon an image or sense of where to find the thing will appear. The more you let go and relax the sooner it will happen. This is a skill and gets better with practice. I have lost count of how many times I have ended up smiling when I could have been stressed or anxious or frustrated.

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