Health and Wellbeing

Mindfulness

Mindfulness - Bringing your Mind and Body Together

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Everyone is stressed.  Everyone has pressures.  And it is hard to slow down in this fast-paced world. 

Put very simply, Mindfulness helps you to focus on the present, rather than focussing on the past.  It is not about trying to clear your mind but allowing thoughts and emotions to come and go.  It enables you to have mind and body in the same place, at the same time, which helps you become calm and see what is happening around you with greater clarity.

A specialised skill in mental awareness, attention and acceptance, and associated with many health benefits, Mindfulness can help with self-regulation and difficulty managing emotions and can help to improve concentration. 

Mindfulness is a specialised skill in mental awareness, attention, and acceptance that is associated with numerous health benefits. Mindfulness training allows practitioners to develop a deeper understanding of the mind, and a more accepting and compassionate relationship to their internal and external experiences.

Welcome to the Army’s Mindfulness Course which has been available to serving Army personnel for some time, but it has now been opened up to a wider audience. Although this is an eight-week course, and it will be rolled out over eight weeks, it is designed so you can go at your own pace.

Before starting you MUST read the Disclaimer

Introduction to Mindfulness

Capt Pat Burgess talks about what Mindfulness is, where it is used, and what it can do. He talks about the importance of living in the moment, because the future is in your imagination, and the past is just your perception, he goes on: “Anxiety is too much future; depression is too much past”. And he reminds us that we own our minds and need to ensure they work for us. He closes with a challenge to start the journey on his eight-week course.

Introduction

Week 1 - Auto Pilot

Capt Burgess explains how, with commitment and practice, mindfulness can help us to manage grief, anxiety and even sleep problems. The lesson covers the mind’s ability to switch to auto pilot, and how to manage that so we have greater control.

Week 1 - Auto Pilot

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Homework Week 1

1. Practice the guided body scan above for 6 out of 7 days.

Persevere with the practice and don't strive; your experience is just that.

2. Choose one activity in your daily life (brushing teeth, taking a shower, washing up, hoovering etc.) and really  experience the activity.

Complete the practice record form after each practice, making a note of anything that you notice.

Week 2 - Setting Patterns

This week Capt Burgess will focus on the way we use old mind patterns to shape our reactions and behaviours, and how each person has a different perception of any event, based on their genetics and culture.

Week 2 - Setting Patterns

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Homework - Week 2

Audio - Guided Body Scan 

1.   Practice the guided body scan for 6 out of seven days.

Persevere with the practice and don’t strive; your experience is just that.

2.   Fill out the daily ‘Pleasant experience’ calendar.

3.   Practice ‘Mindful Breathing’ in everyday activities

4.   Choose a different activity in your daily life (brushing teeth, taking a shower, washing up, hoovering etc.) and really experience the activity.

Complete the practice record form after each practice, making a note of anything that you notice.

Week 3 - Taming the Beast

This week Capt Burgess will focus on thought awareness and teach the ability to bring the mind back to the present moment via use of the natural process of breathing.

Week 3 - Taming the Beast

Mindful Stretching - Week 3

Mindful Movement - Week 3

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Homework – Week 3

Audio – Mindful Stretching and or Mindful Movement

1.   Practice within your capability. Either three days of each or 6 days of one dependent upon any physical limitations.

2.   Fill out the daily ‘Unpleasant experience’ calendar.

3.   Practice ‘Mindful Breathing’ in everyday activities

4.   Choose a different activity in your daily life (brushing teeth, taking a shower, washing up, hoovering etc.) and really experience the activity.

Complete the practice record form after each practice, making a note of anything that you notice.

Week 4 - Grounding

This week Capt Burgess will focus on helping you get grounded in the physical body. To recognise the body as a place of refuge and strength.

Week 4 - Grounding

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Homework – Week 4

1.   Practice seated meditation (guidance) with or without audio for 6 days - Don’t expect to be or achieve anything.

2.   Mindful walking – Whether walking the dog, walking to the shops, to work or simply from the lounge to the kitchen. Practice awareness of every step, where you are walking and the experience of walking.

3.   Practice ‘Mindful Breathing’ in everyday activities

Complete the Practice Record Form after each practice, making a note of anything that you notice.

Week 5 - Avoidance of the Unpleasant

This week Capt Burgess will focus on how we chose the course of least resistance and this can be detrimental to us. By acceptance of the present moment and non-judgement we become stronger.

Week 5 - Avoidance of the Unpleasant

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Homework Week 5

1. Practice audio recordings 'Facing Aversion' (Guidance) and Seated Meditation' with or without audio for 3 days each - Don't expect to be or achieve anything.

2. Mindful walking - Whether walking the dog, walking to the shops, to work or simply from the lounge to the kitchen. Practice awareness of every step, where you are walking and the experience of walking.

3. Practice 'Mindful Breathing' in everyday activities.

Complete the Practice Record Form after each practice, making a note of anything that you notice.

Week 6 - Allowing

This week Capt Burgess will focus on the courage required to remove self-appointed labels to situations and to experience them as they are.

Week 4 - Allowing

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HOMEWORK – WEEK 6

AUDIO – Choose a practice of your choice from the previous weeks

1.   Practice your chosen audio recording/s 20 mins each day for 6 days.

2.   Practice Mindful Breathing at least 3 times a day.

Complete the practice record form after each practice, making a note of anything that you notice

Week 7 - You are not your mind

This week Capt Burgess will focus on the ability to choose which thoughts are useful and discard those patterns that are potentially harmful

Week 7 - You are not your mind

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HOMEWORK – WEEK 7 

1. Practice seated meditation, with or without audio guidance 20 mins each day for 6 days.

2. Practice Mindful Breathing at least 3 times a day.

3. Reflect over the week on what you have learnt during the course.

Complete the practice record form after each practice, making a note of anything that you notice.

Reflection and Resources

This week Capt Burgess will recap of techniques already taught and a chance to reflect on what has been learnt. Additional resources will be discussed from the weeks above.

Week 8 - Reflection and Resources