MS-UK understands the importance of having a healthy relationship with your mental wellbeing and is now offering two mindfulness courses. These courses are designed to help you live more consciously, with evidence that it can help people living with a chronic condition, such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is considered to be a state of consciousness, whereby you are aware of your body, thoughts and emotions, living ‘mindfully’ and alive to your experiences.
This can be achieved through practice, choosing where to place your attention, the awareness to thoughts and to reframe and respond skilfully rather than reacting negatively towards them.
There is now growing medical evidence of the benefits of mindfulness in alleviating stress and anxiety, and that stress and worry can contribute to the exacerbation of MS symptoms, relapses, the progression of the condition, and perhaps even to the onset of the condition itself.
What are the benefits you can expect from mindfulness?
Our mindfulness courses
We have two types of mindfulness courses running throughout the year that includes our nine-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course and our four-week mindfulness course. Please see below more about what each course offers.
Four-week mindfulness course
Our four-week mindfulness course is the first course we will be offering in spring 2021, and is a pilot course that has been developed following feedback from our previous courses. The shorter course offers a less intensive option for people who may have difficulty committing to the longer nine-week option. The course itself will still offer a good introduction to mindfulness and allow you to begin developing the skills to practice mindfulness for all the benefits it can have.
About the four-week course
Nine-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course
Largely experiential – developing a life skill
Homework – mainly practicing, guided meditations will be provided; around 45 minutes per day homework, ideally six days per week
Safe and confidential environment -share only as much as you want to and explore difficult sensations only as much as you want to
Weeks 1- 3 Beginning to practice and developing awareness
Weeks 4-6 Awareness of stress and our reactions
Awareness of thoughts and emotions
Responding vs reacting when living with MS
Working with difficult experiences
Weeks 7- 9 Preparing for the future
MS Lifestyle modifications
Identity and taking care of yourself
Preparing your own meditation practice
Before starting this course, it is worth considering the following points
The course can be emotionally demanding – is this the right time for you to do it?
Doing the homework is important and makes a huge difference – few will manage every day but three-four days per week should be a minimum
Find a space where you will be alone and ideally won’t be interrupted for both the class and your practice
It’s OK to miss a session over the nine-weeks, but if you know that you’ll miss more than two sessions then best to wait for the next course or to register for the shorter four-week course
For this MS-UK MBSR course, we have made some modifications to the standard MBSR course to make it even more relevant and helpful to those with MS, including a whole new session on lifestyle changes. The feedback from the first two pilot courses we held was extremely positive and this has guided us to develop both our we offer courses.
Please see the feedback below from the participants of our previous courses
“The theory and exercises now form part of my plans for the day and help me to spend time just for me. I can justify being kind to myself as a valuable way of dealing with my MS.”
“Noticing tension in the body, learning to slow down in situations that normally cause me to rush and make mistakes”
“I feel have a way to take back control, to both focus and find peace”.
Our next nine-week mindfulness course is due to start on Monday 22 March at 11am. We will be announcing the start date of the four-week course shortly, with a date in April to early may.
As with all our online activities, there is a suggested donation for both courses. For our nine-week course, the suggested donation is £40 and for the four-week course, the is a suggested donation of £20.
If you would like to know more about the mindfulness courses or when the next courses start, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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