Mind Full or Mindful? by Anna Taylor


When you look at the image above, which mind-set resonates most with yours? Does it feel permanently busy, perhaps even choc-a-block full? Does it consist of a constant barrage of plans, thoughts, to-do lists and “oh no I forgot!” alarms?

Would you like to create the space where your mind felt more clear and calm? One in which your internal dialogue was supportive and kind rather than harsh and self-critical?

Next month includes Mental Health Awareness Week from 13 – 19 May. It’s a useful opportunity to consider our mental wellbeing as much as our physical wellbeing (after all the two are intrinsically interlinked). When we live in a culture of busy, busy, busy it can be easy for stress and anxiety to become normalised, for us to feel ‘it’s just the way it is’, but it doesn’t have to be.

All too often we feel our stress is caused by external factors and therefore is out of our control. Of course there are life situations that are stressful, and some of these we have no control over, but it is actually our response to the ‘stressor’ rather than the stressor itself that determines the impact it will have, detrimentally or otherwise. Whilst we can’t always change the nature of the world we live in, we do have the capacity to change how we respond to it. In the words of Jon Kabat Zinn:

“You can’t stop the waves but you can learn how to surf”.

The good news is that there is now a vast body of research and evidence showing that we can change. Through practices of mindfulness and self-compassion we can rewire our brains to being more calm, more clear and more kind. With these tools we can reduce our stress, increase our sense of resilience and improve our overall wellbeing.

This May I’m pleased to be offering two courses at The Life Centre that provide a comprehensive introduction to both mindfulness and self-compassion, providing practical tools for creating change in your everyday lives.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) 8-week course: Wednesday afternoons, 15 May – 10 July (no class 12 June) from 15.00 – 17.00.

Cultivating Self-compassion 4-week course: Wednesday evenings, 22 May – 12 June from 20.00 – 21.30.

For more information please click on the links to these courses. Click here to access a free 15 minute mindful bodyscan practice.

For more information on either of the courses please feel free to contact me on anna@mindbodybalance.co.uk.

Anna is also offering a taster session on 1 May 15.00-16.00 at Islington where you can find out more about the MBSR course and how it can help support your wellbeing. Book your place here.