People are interested in Mindfulness in Bedford
Having recently staged a free introductory presentation on mindfulness in Bedford, I was amazed at the incredible response. I had arranged to stage the event at the Puddin’ Club on Castle Road in Bedford which could hold a maximum number of thirty people. I very quickly realised that I would have to stage two presentations on mindfulness back to back to cater to the demand. In the end, we had 60 people book places for the session.
Through staging this event, I have become aware of how great the interest is in mindfulness in Bedford. It is a buzz word, but yet few people actually know what it is or how to do it. A lot of people think that they are unable to ‘do mindfulness’ because they cannot concentrate, or stop thinking. It is not the goal of mindfulness to stop your mind from chattering away. It is simply to notice it happening. This misunderstanding is making many people feel that there is something wrong with them: they are ‘too stressed to relax’, or their minds just ‘won’t shut up’.
Mindfulness is linked to decreases in stress and anxiety
Mindfulness has been observed in multiple studies to be strongly linked to decreases in stress and anxiety, improved sleep, boosts in immune system, improved concentration and attention, and many other benefits. What I learnt from staging the free mindfulness event is that there is very little available in the way of informing the people of Bedford how easy mindfulness actually is, and how useful it can be.
In the UK, we find ourselves in a position where more and more people are being ‘diagnosed’ with anxiety and depression and prescribed medication by their local GP. Although there is little doubt that anti-depressants are a useful way to create a solid base from which to grow, change and develop, increasingly we are seeing that people remain hopelessly addicted and continue along the same path in their lives.
Mindfulness decreases the production of hormones attributed to the ‘fight or flight’ response
A regular mindfulness practice has been shown to potentially have a positive influence on both anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that through practicing mindfulness on a daily basis, the amygdala in the brain (responsible for the production of both adrenaline and cortisol) shrinks in size, whilst areas in the frontal lobe responsible for concentration and attention increase in size. Both adrenaline and cortisol are responsible for the ‘fight or flight’ response which was handy when running from sabre-tooth tigers millions of years ago, but nowadays tends to be triggered by a tricky email. In the western world, we need these hormones less, and they are currently proving toxic to our mental and physical well-being.
However, we are seeing that adrenaline and cortisol levels are increasing among people in this country, as our work loads and high pressured lives stimulate the amygdala more and more often. The more this area of the brain is stimulated, the bigger and stronger it becomes: a viscous and toxic cycle, causing us to feel more and more stressed and anxious.
Bedford needs mindfulness!
If this is the case, it is no wonder there is such an interest in mindfulness in Bedford, but where is the information explaining how easy it is? How every single person could start doing this tomorrow for as little as five minutes per day and see a difference in their lives within as little as eight weeks? I am not saying that mindfulness is a miracle cure, but if it can help people to gain more control over the negative and stressful thoughts in their own minds, then surely it is something we should be more informed about? The number one reason for absence from work in the UK right now is depression. As many as one in six people in the UK are currently taking anti-depressants. It is time to try something new.
One of the things which could potentially stand in the way of a regular mindfulness practice is fear of the unknown. So many people associate mindfulness with spirituality and religion, whilst some believe it to be brainwashing. Before making your own mind up, do some research. Watch a YouTube video or two.
Eight week mindfulness course in Bedford
Alternatively, you could sign up for my eight week mindfulness course, starting on Wednesday 12th October at Bedford Consulting Rooms on Goldington Road. Each week, I will be introducing you to different mindfulness techniques and explaining the various benefits. You can find out more information and book your place here. If you want some more information, feel free to contact me. I am a certified mindfulness teacher, coach and positive psychologist, and focus on increasing well-being in everyday people.