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How Mindfulness Can Help Your Mental Health

You may have heard that Mindfulness can have numerous benefits on your physical and mental health but you might not be sure on exactly how it can help.

We all experience difficulties in our lives, it’s a part of being human. Living with cancer creates all sorts of additional life stresses, from waiting for appointments and results to the challenges of the treatment itself. Practising mindfulness enables you to really listen to your needs so that you can support yourself through such difficult and ongoing challenges. In fact, it isn’t just the challenges that can cause you to be unhappy; the way that you react also has a bearing on whether you feel even worse.

Often, it can feel as if like you don’t have a choice about your reactions, they just seem to happen. This is especially true when dealing with the life-changing and overwhelming information received during cancer diagnosis and treatment. Mindfulness teaches you to respond to life’s difficulties more skilfully, creating more peace and acceptance in your life. You are taught to recognise and change your patterns of automatic reactivity so that you can choose your responses more carefully.

The class will teach you to…
• Train your attention and improve focus
• Find a sense of calm in the midst of stressful or emotionally challenging situations
• Increase satisfaction with life
• Recognise and more skilfully deal with distraction, perfectionism, and procrastination
• Improve listening and interpersonal communication skills
• Cultivate resilience to help combat low-moods and poor self-esteem

Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them. It is a bit like going to the gym for your mind. You train your brain to develop the skill of mindful attention and apply it to everyday life.

In teaching your mind to be present, you can become aware of your patterns of thinking and not to get caught up in unhelpful, anxious or catastrophic thoughts.

“It helped me much more than I expected – suddenly when confronted by things that used to send me off into a major spin of catastrophising, anxiety and inability to stop worrying (and then not sleeping) I was able to view events much more calmly and deal with them.”