In week 4 we began by discussing how mindfulness can benefit people who have experienced recurrent depression, as well as hearing how Val got on since the last session. You can listen below:
The focus of session 4 with Val was how mindfulness might be applied to communication. First off we explored stressful interactions and the when/how of bringing mindfulness to these occasions:
We also considered how mindfulness can be brought into our day to day interactions, potentially enriching our conversations and relationships with friends, family and colleagues and creating greater feelings of connection. Think about recent times you have been talking to people - We often feel different when we know someone is fully engaged with us (rather than thinking about a million other things at the same time).
After the session, we returned to the studio to discuss how Val got on:
Putting mindful communication into practice
See if you can bring awareness to your interactions this week, whether with colleagues, friends, family or anyone else (e.g. someone who serves you in a shop). See if you can bring curiosity, openness, acceptance and warmth to the moment, and not needing to be anywhere else. If your mind wanders off, gently bring it back to what is happening at that moment. What is it like to do this? What do you notice? Can you spot how you might habitually act, and choose to do something different?
A short practice that you can do to help you to notice how you are feeling and to bring more awareness to the moment is the three minute breathing space. The aim of this practice isn't to get rid of or fix how you are feeling, it's just to notice what you are experiencing, and to give you the opportunity to respond rather than be caught up in reactivity.