I have been working with people who have long term conditions for over ten years. Whether life-limiting or not, the onset of a long term condition always presents challenges and in some circumstances can lead to profound changes in how a person feels, what they are able to do and the way that they see themselves. Many people adapt and move on extremely successfully in line with their new reality. I have been privileged to share some of the journeys that people have taken to
When I look objectively at my working day it’s something like this: I wake up, I have breakfast, I drive to work, I sit at my computer and I drive home.
It’s pretty dull, seen that way.
So, why is that in my mind it’s like James Bond? It’s just a great big drama in here!
If we had to describe what we do, you know that caught-up-in-my-drama thing that whirls around our minds, Velcroing us to the past or future with rumination or worry, we might call it thoughting (we might
I teach mindfulness in a pain clinic in North East England as part of my role in the NHS. There is a long history of evidence that it can be helpful, dating back to the pioneering work of Jon Kabat-Zinn in the 1980's. At first though, it can seem counterintuitive. To many people in pain, mindfulness can seem like the exact opposite of what they want. Mindfulness asks us to turn towards our pain when we would rather turn away, to allow it when we would rather not experienc
Many of us are first attracted to mindfulness by it's potential to help us to calm ourselves and reduce stress. It certainly is true that people who start and continue to practice mindfulness meditation often report improvements in stress which have been backed up in some studies by physiological findings including reduced blood pressure and lower levels of stress hormones measured. So it may come as a surprise that sometimes our mindfulness practice can make us feel worse.
This week, I was guiding a mindful walking and movement on the beach session in Whitley Bay. I was enjoying the bracing feeling of the blustery February wind on my face when I noticed a group of swimmers walk past me on their way to the sea. They were wearing swimming trunks or costumes and had walked a fair distance from their clubhouse and across the beach towards the cold North Sea. They walked into the sea with little hesitation and stayed in throughout the remainder o