Keep going - next steps

Keeping going

- Try to build a formal practice into your daily routine. Just like shower or tooth brushing. If you can settle on the same time of day this will help it become a routine. Research says that each practice session should be at least 10 minutes long.

- If you can, use the same place each day. Perhaps add something to the space to make it special. Flowers or beautiful stones perhaps - whatever works for you.

- Weave mindfulness into your everyday activities with informal practice. Doing the ironing, making a meal, walking place to place

- Look out for opportunities to practice with others: classes, groups and retreats

- You might want to read more about mindfulness or experiment with a phone app or new audio guides

The first weeks - on your own

1: Settle on a practice: Let's presume that you're going to keep up your formal mindfulness practice for at least one month after the course finishes. Then you can assess what you want to go forward with.

So, from all the different forms of formal mindfulness practice that you have experienced so far in the course, take a week to settle on a form of practice that you intend to use on a regular, daily basis for the next three weeks. You might try using the audio guidance only on alternate weeks — or even less. Make your own choice about what is most helpful.

2. Practise the three-step breathing space three times a day, at times that you have decided in advance.

3. Whenever you notice unpleasant thoughts or feelings, practise the three-step breathing space to cope with the difficulty and follow that with an action step.

4. Take some time to list your own stress indicators. Then consider what you tend to do when stressed. What is helpful, what is unhelpful? Again, list these points. When you've when you notice one or another stress indicator in your daily life.

5. 'Nourishing and Depleting Activities', make a list of your daily activities, following the guidance set out there. see whether there may be any small but effective changes that you might make to the way your days unfold. Even a few apparently insignificant changes can make a tangible difference to your level of well-being.

Mindful at work

- Work (paid or unpaid) is the source of stress for many people

- Look for opportunities to practice: On you way to work, arriving, whilst working, in breaks and over lunch, in meetings, finishing work, on your way home, arriving at home.

- Just to add  .. stress from unfair or exploitative situations at work can be helped by mindfulness but such causes of unwelcome stress should be addressed directly. Mindfulness may help you determine the best course of action for you in such situations.

This is an interesting read about mindfulness in the workplace. Oxford Centre for Mindfulness

5 steps – Larry Rosenberg

1. When possible do just one thing at a time
2. Pay full attention to what you are doing
3. When the mind wanders – bring it back gently
4. Repeat step 3 several billion time
5. Investigate your distractions

Take care

- Most people find mindfulness practices challenging at times. This is to be expected. However if you are worried about what you are experiencing, seek out advice from a reputable teacher. You can always reach out me: Bob Chase

- There may be times, bereavement for example, that you may wish to suspend meditation if feelings are very raw. Or you may want to experiment using your new skills to work with difficult situations.

- If you find your practice repeatedly triggering very difficult thoughts or feelings from the past, seek advice from a therapist or mindfulness teacher with a knowledge of trauma and PTSD. Stop your practice until you have the right support.

7 Attitudes to Mindfulness - Kabat-Zinn - 26 mins

Letting go of Effort

Meditation - Why isn't it working?