Mindfulness & Meditation
St Mark’s Institute, 37a Victoria Road, Woolston, Southampton SO19 9DY (view map)
MONDAYS 7:40 – 8:30pm
Are you looking for a way to take control of the incessant churning of thoughts in your head? Perhaps you need better sleep, or less stress, or just a tool to be able to switch off from the busyness of everyday living. Perhaps you’ve heard of the benefits of meditation on brain function, but you may not know that regular meditation actually helps physically alter your brain, in very desirable ways.
As a result, regular meditators tend to:
- Cope better with stress and anxiety than those who don’t.
- Be less impulsive and in greater control of their behaviour.
- Have better memory, and be able to focus for longer periods of time.
- Age better mentally, and have a reduced risk of degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimers and dementia.
- Be happier. They appreciate the beauty of life, have more gratitude, and are able to live in the moment.
- Accept — and make the most of — change. Regular meditators are able to see their own thoughts and feelings with a certain degree of detachment, which allows them to cling less to a given status quo. The “me” centre in the brain also diminishes with regular practice, allowing for fewer self-referential thoughts and less rumination — or jumping from thought to thought.
Practicing mindfulness and meditation can also help people overcome addiction and other compulsive behaviour. It also helps us be happier in our own skin and interact with others with greater integrity and freedom. Moreover, meditation has been found to be equally effective in managing depression as medication — and without the unpleasant side effects of antidepressants. (If you’d like to learn about these benefits in more detail, read this article).
To meditate is simple, but not easy. It requires discipline. The moment you sit down to do it, the mind (and body) will throw up a hundred and one reasons why you need to get up and do something else. You may get an itch, your foot may fall asleep, you will be thinking about what to cook for dinner, the work meeting in two weeks, what he or she said and how it made you feel. But you are only allowed to observe what comes up…. your only job is to sit and watch all these thoughts and sensations pass through you. Like many other activities that require discipline, it is easier to do in a group. Ours is a very supportive and confidential circle of friendly people who are happy to be honest about their shortcomings and challenges, as well as about their large and small daily victories. Apart from actually meditating, we give ourselves the space and time to reflect on our lives, and find ways of how to do things differently to live even better. Come and join us.
Walk-in £4, £3 if bought along with Intermediate Vinyasa Yoga class (total cost £9)