Mindful self-compassion training

Are you considering a new year's resolution to improve your health and wellbeing?

Nowadays we have so many choices, diet, outdoor exercise, or going to the gym. But is there one area that you could focus on that would improve your wellbeing, build your resilience, and allow you to thrive in the face of life’s challenges? Experts are increasingly focusing on our mental wellbeing.

However according to Rick Hanson, an eminent neuropsychologist, our brain has a negative bias that makes it like Velcro for bad experience and Teflon for good experience. This negativity bias can often be seen in our mental attitudes, such as a harsh self-critical inner voice and perfectionism that we assume can improve our performance. However instead of improving our performance this often results in increased anxiety, low self-esteem, reduced self-confidence, and feelings of guilt and shame that chip away further at our mental wellbeing.

The good news is that by going to the gym for our mind we can combine the benefits of mindfulness training with training in the positive mental attitudes of loving kindness, compassion, and gratitude. This not only gives us a greater degree of mental flexibility but it also enables us to meet three of our essential human needs for safety, satisfaction, and connection.

Backed by a growing body of research, mindful self-compassion (MSC ) training has been shown to be associated with reduced negativity, anxiety, and stress and enhanced positive mental states of contentment, optimism, and happiness.

Mindful self-compassion (MSC ) is an experiential eight-week training programme based on the ground-breaking research of Kristin Neff PhD and the clinical expertise of Christopher Germer PhD. It supports the development of courageous attitudes enabling us to stand up to harm, even the harm we inflict unwittingly on ourselves, through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption. MSC training teaches core skills that empower participants to respond to the difficult moments in life that we all experience with kindness, care, and understanding.

MSC enhances abilities to:

• Practice self-compassion in our daily life.

• Motivate ourselves with kindness rather than criticism.

• Handle difficult emotions with greater ease.

• Transform challenging relationships, old and new.

• Manage caregiver fatigue.

• Practice the art of savouring and self-appreciation.

Course facilitator Martin Delaney holds an MSc in mindfulness compassion and insight studies from the University of Aberdeen. He completed training to teach this course under the direction of Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, and at the University of California San Diego. His research on this programme has been published recently in a leading US scientific journal.

To learn more sign up for an Introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC ) evening, taking place on Tuesday, February 26, at 7pm in the Clayton Hotel Galway. Cost is €5.

An eight-week mindful self-compassion (MSC ) course starts on Tuesday, March 5, at 7pm in the Clayton Hotel Galway. Numbers are limited. For further details contact [email protected], phone 083 3930654, see cbtinterpretations.com, or find Blooming Mental Wellbeing on Facebook.

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