Is Mindfulness a religious practice?

Mindfulness is not affiliated to any religion and it will not be taught in this way by Mindfully OK. Mindfulness is all about making non judgemental connections with the present moment and living in the 'here and now'. It is quite possible for some people to use this to enhance their religious, or spiritual experiences, but that is a personal choice. A great benefit of Mindfulness is that it is intensely personal to each individual and each person should allow their own experience of it to change and grow over the time that they practice it.

Is Mindfulness just another word for meditation?

Meditation is a part of Mindfulness, but there are many other techniques and practices that are used. For instance mindful movement, mindful communication skills and many informal techniques that are woven into your days.

Do any medical conditions stop me from using Mindfulness?

There are not any medical conditions that would stop you from practising Mindfulness. However, during meditations there is some concern that it would be possible to have an adverse reaction if you suffer from epilepsy, asthma, or a serious mental illness. If you have any concerns, please speak to your health professional (G.P) and make a point of mentioning your concerns before the session starts.

Should I stop taking my medication whilst doing a Mindfulness course?

ABSOLUTELY NOT! Under no circumstances, never ever change your medication before speaking to your doctor first. It is very probable that the sessions will help you to recover, but it is essential that any change in medication is monitored by your doctor.

I've tried Mindfulness and meditation before and just can't do it?

The 'trying' bit is why it hasn't worked for you in the past. There is no failure with Mindfulness apart from not giving it a go. There is no gold standard to aim for, it is just a way of being. In fact, in many cases actually becoming aware of all the racing thoughts is a very positive thing, because you can learn how to catch them, watch them and modify them. Research has shown that an emotion lasts for about 90 seconds in the brain, unless it is tweaked by another thought. The sessions will ease you into Mindfulness in a gentle, but purposeful way. Sometimes you will move slowly, sometimes very quickly, but you will be monitored through the early parts of your journey (or for as long as you want to be), so that each gain is strong and long lasting.

The same thoughts keep racing through my mind. How do I stop them?

Ah well, to stop your thoughts would be a dangerous thing to do. They are there for a reason. Mindfulness teaches you how to safely respond to them and realistically, how to deal with them when you have had a bad day, The trick is to learn to hear them properly. There is an old Cherokee proverb that says "If you hear the whispers, you won't have to listen to the screams'.

Can you get stuck in meditation and can it harm you?

Not a chance! The meditation state is one that you slip into many times during the course of a day when you become highly focused (have you ever been so engrossed in a film that you have jumped when someone comes into the room and talks to you?). You might want to stay in a meditation a bit longer, because it feels so good, but that is as dangerous as it gets!

Will I be suitable for Mindfulness training?

If you are able to breathe and think, then yes, you are suitable. Mindfulness has great benefits for young and old alike. It is a great thing for parents to share with their children, even before they are born and it is a great asset to have when you are reflecting on your life.

How many Mindfulness sessions will I need?

That is entirely up to you, your financial resources and why you need Mindfulness in your life. If you are in crisis, you might need a few sessions in a short space of time. If you are wanting to learn Mindfulness to help you have a more meaningful and satisfying life you can take it at a more leisurely pace, Sometimes you might want to have a top up session, just to get you back on track. It can be a bit like going back to your personal trainer for an assessment and some different exercises.

What times are usually available for the Mindfulness sessions?

You can check on the calendar under the course descriptions to see what times are available on the day of your choice. Choose a time, pay for the session(s) and you will receive an email confirming the appointment. Appointments times can be altered up to 5 hours before the start of the appointment to still qualify for a refund.

I've been anxious and depressed for years, can Mindfulness help.

Most certainly! The sessions have been structured and crafted over a 25 year period, based on experience of what works and what doesn't. These are practical sessions. Yes you will need to give some background as to what has landed you where you now are in your life, but from session one, we will be giving you the means to start digging yourself out. Small insights can make a huge difference to anxiety and depression and feeling that you have choices is so important, even though it might take some time to start exercising them. The sessions will give you a safe haven to explore how much better life could be.

I find it difficult to talk to someone about my anxiety and depression?

That is quite understandable and in fact very usual. When you are stuck in the trap of anxiety and depression it is very usual to become isolated and feel threatened by talking to anyone about your emotional state. You may actually expend a lot of energy trying to conceal that you are having a difficult time. So Mindfully OK offers you email sessions where you are not sitting opposite somebody, and you get the chance to think what you really want to say, without any pressure. You can move on to face to face sessions when it feels right for you. Remember that you choose the subjects that you want to discuss. Face to face sessions are very relaxed and there is often a fair bit of laughter (although that might not seem possible). A short taster session might suit you, to help you decide if you are likely to feel comfortable with your mentor.

How will I know if the Mindfulness sessions are working?

Now that is an interesting question. For some people it can be quite dramatic. Feeling a little bit of stillness, or tranquillity can be very welcome and very surprising. Shoulders drop, stomachs rumble and warm happy smiles get dusted off and put on show. For others it might be a surprise realisation that something went better than usual, you notice that you are sleeping better, or you just start noticing good stuff. Either way is excellent and sometimes it can be a combination of both, which is of course classified as showing off!

Can I contact Mindfully OK between sessions? The Mindfulness Leadership Modules are designed for you to send feedback between sessions. Poking around in your brain can bring up some difficult feelings from time to time and it is important to feel supported when that happens. If you are having trouble with something that has arisen as a result of the session, please feel free to email.