Mindfulness-based Strategies for Living Well
Aksobhin Tracy MSc is a qualified mindfulness trainer and experienced meditation practitioner and teacher. As someone with a long personal encounter with serious illness, chronic pain and fatigue he brings a distinct set of qualities to his teaching. Since 2001 he has developed and run mindfulness-based courses for people living with chronic health conditions as well as developing the Breathing Space for Carers course. He has also developed and run more general mindfulness courses as well as courses for stress reduction. He is also a qualified Breathworks trainer
What is Mindfulness?
We mostly go through life on automatic pilot, unaware of what is going on around us. Mindfulness helps us to see more clearly and honestly what is going on in our lives. Most importantly mindfulness helps us to learn how to respond to the circumstances in which we find ourselves in a calm and creative manner. We can step away from our habitual responses, which are so often unhelpful, and find new ways of responding to the inevitable ups and downs of life.
Mindfulness is characterised by awareness of our experience, and by kindness. By paying a particular kind of attention to ourselves, in the present moment, we develop the ability to be fully present to our experience and to our lives, and to be more aware of ourselves, physically, mentally and emotionally. It allows us to develop our inner resources, to adapt more easily to life’s ups and downs and to develop a more positive approach to ourselves and to life in general.
Over the last 20 years, Mindfulness has been employed as a health care intervention for a wide range of conditions, from stress to depression to chronic pain.
How do participants learn Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a skill that can be learned and practised. On a Mindfulness course or workshop, participants learn meditation practices that cultivate awareness of the body, the mind and the emotions. Presentations provide valuable approaches for dealing with life’s difficulties and group discussions provide the opportunity to explore the experience of Mindfulness.
In order to get the most from courses, participants are asked to commit to a regular Mindfulness practice at least for the duration of the course. This deeper engagement allows participants to benefit more fully from the course.
There are a number of options available both in type of course and in duration of courses. We can also tailor courses to specific groups. Some examples of course types available:
- Living Well through Mindfulness
- Living Well with Pain and Illness
- Living Well with Stress
- A Breathing Space for Carers
- The Mindful Workplace
- Mindfulness for Health Professionals
Living Well Through Mindfulness
This course offers participants techniques that allow them to develop and nurture positive states of mind, such as calmness, clarity, emotional positivity and a deeper seeing of the true nature of things.
The main benefit gained from the practice of mindfulness and meditation is the ability to see and experience that we do have a choice about how we think and feel. Even though much of what we experience in life is most often outside of our direct control, we can learn how to take responsibility for our own states of mind and how to choose to change them for the better. The mindfulness that we develop and maintain through meditation empowers us to make this choice.
Mindfulness for Pain and Illness
Living with chronic pain or a long-term illness can give rise to stress and tension, and a host of other secondary symptoms, such as exhaustion, irritation, insomnia and depression. Mindfulness provides a tool kit of resources to apply to these secondary symptoms, thus lessening the overall experience of suffering.
Paradoxically, by learning how to Live Well with pain or illness, participants can greatly expand their perspective and experience a richer and fuller life.
Some of the benefits experienced from a Living Well with Pain and Illness course are:
- an increased ability to relax and experience calm
- greater confidence in ability to undertake activities
- increased ability to cope effectively with flare-ups or set-backs
- an increased ability to cope more effectively with short and long-term stress
- a decreased tendency to catastrophise
Living Well with Stress
Most of us experience stress at various times in our lives, but sometimes it can feel as though we are stuck in ‘stress mode’ all or most of the time. With Mindfulness, we can learn how to manage stress and anxiety, how to develop the ability to be still and how to regain an appreciation of our lives and ourselves.
A Breathing Space for Carers
A Breathing Space for Carers is a course addressing the particular stresses experienced by those caring full or part-time for family members or friends. Throughout the course, participants will be introduced to a range of skills and strategies that they can use in their daily life, helping them to manage stress and look after themselves.
Please contact us for more information on upcoming courses firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mindful Workplace
Enhancing the lives of professionals and clients through delivering self-care training for Living Well.
A growing body of international research, including clinical trials, has established the effectiveness of Mindfulness Interventions in enhancing the lives of people who practice them.
Benefits of Workplace Based Courses
At the beginning of 2013 an innovative wellbeing pilot programme for staff of the Department of Health was run in the UK.
Statistically significant changes for the group as a whole included:
- Reduced perceived stress
- Improvement in satisfaction with life
- Improved well-being
- Reduced sense of isolation
- Less likely to be overwhelmed by painful thoughts and feelings
Visit The Mindful Workplace resource page
Structure of Mindful Workplace programme
- Taster session Introduction to Mindfulness. Two hour session to encourage staff to commit to participating in a full 8-week course.
- 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Management course
- Ongoing practice support if required
Mindfulness for Health Professionals
Enhancing the lives of health professionals and patients through delivering self-care training for Living Well.
An Introduction to Mindfulness
An introduction to Mindfulness Interventions and how they can enhance the wellbeing of patients. This course is intended to give health professionals a thorough introduction to Mindfulness so that they can have confidence in recommending it to their patients.
• History and Development
• Research and Benefits
• Mindfulness Meditation Practices
• Key Concepts
• Mindful Movement