Last month Kühler & Trooster’s first mindfulness training finished. During 8 weeks, the participants of the course learned the practical skills of mindfulness. But what exactly is mindfulness and how did the course help them?
What is mindfulness?
Even though mindfulness is a pretty straightforward word, there are plenty of definitions and assumptions going around. Should your mind be blank, or focus on one specific thing? The word ‘mind-ful’ suggests that the mind is fully attending to whatever is happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through. That might sound easy, but often our mind takes flight: we lose touch with our body and pretty soon we’re stuck in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or worrying about the future. And that makes us anxious.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. (www.mindful.org)
What did participants of the mindfulness course learn?
The participants learned how to focus on the here-and-now and cope with negative thoughts and emotions that might arise. Through different exercises, both meditation and elements of CBT, they learned how to deal with stress. By practicing and sharing as a group as well as daily practice at home, the participants were able to be present and aware, without feeling overwhelmed. One participant described the benefit of the course as follows: ‘ (I learned to) get distance from stimuli, thoughts, so I can see them for what they are instead of being dragged unwillingly into immediate reactions/reactive behaviors. This helps me remain calm, be less anxious and be caring for myself and others.’ Another participant shared that being in a safe, nurturing environment and learning simple and useful tools helps him to integrate the practice of mindfulness into his daily life.
Kühler & Trooster will organize a new mindfulness group course, starting September 17 2019. The course will take up 8 sessions in September, October and November (no sessions during school holidays), Tuesdays 5:00-7:00 PM. Location is Koningslaan 35 in Amsterdam.