Kate McIver, mindfulness teacher & psychotherapist at Insighted, will be holding a session entitled ‘Mindfulness for Stress Management and Resilience’ at Bradford Cathedral in April to help those taking part gain awareness and practical skills to manage stress and increase resilience.
All funds from the session will go to support the Bradford Cathedral Choir and their upcoming choral trip to Germany.
Kate began on her journey to mindfulness by practising meditation as part of a Buddhist group around thirty years ago, before moving into teaching secular mindfulness and meditation.
“It is really skills based and I do it because I’ve experienced how it’s improved my own life. The groups I run have brought huge benefits for people.”
Mindfulness is something that’s very important in 2019 and a hot topic at the moment.
“I think on a very basic level it’s about being present in our lives: knowing and appreciating what we’re doing when we’re actually doing it. We all have a lot of multi-tasking in our lives and, while chatting to somebody, we might well be doing something on our phones, or our minds might just be elsewhere. We’ve all experienced talking to someone and realising we’re not actually listening to them. Or we’re in the shower but in our heads we’re planning or rehearsing something we’ll be doing or saying later – maybe even having both sides of an argument in our head! Evidence tells us this tendency to ruminate is bad for our mental health.
“It’s about actually enjoying the moments in our lives: these are what our lives are made up of. The research shows this has huge benefits for our mental health. So for things like anxiety or depression it’s helpful to come back to what’s actually happening: what we know is true, rather than getting caught up in the past or the future.”
The upcoming session to be held at Bradford Cathedral is suitable for those who are completely new to mindfulness as well as those who already practise it.
“This session will be practical and skills-based, offering a taste of different practices; some very short and easy to do in daily life. There will also be some practical approaches to managing anxiety and stress in our lives, including therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). These are skills we can combine with mindfulness. If we notice we’re moving into stress – and it might be a sensation in the body that alerts us that we’re stressed or worked up – mindfulness can really help and give us choices to respond in new ways.”
Kate suggests some mindfulness tips for managing stress in the moment:
1. Stop and stand or sit still
2. Notice what’s happening in your body
3. Feel sensations of contact between the soles of your feet and the floor (or contact with whatever’s supporting you e.g. the bed if you’re lying in bed)
4. Take a few breaths, following the sensations of each breath coming in and going out of your body
The session will be a starting point for people to discover more about mindfulness.
“Come along to see if it’s something you might want to include in your life. It’s very experiential but not about perfecting a skill. Once you get a taste of it, you might decide it’s something you want to practise. The session will be quite light; there will be no pressure for anyone to do anything they don’t want to. It’s very skills-based. There’s nothing to lose and you may find what we do can really help you!
“And it’s not just for when we have a problem or are really stressed. It’s also about enjoying our experiences, savouring the moments and making the most of our lives.”
The ‘Mindfulness for Stress Management and Resilience’ session will take place on Saturday 6th April at 2:30pm-4pm at Bradford Cathedral. Tickets can be booked at bradfordcathedral.eventbrite.com