Living with less stress and more ease in each moment

There are three ways I can help you reduce your stress levels and feel more in control of your life by developing a more mindful approach.

Our mindless situation

There’s no denying that we live full lives. Sometimes we’re so filled to the brim that it feels like we’ll explode with the pressure of it all.

The things that fill our lives aren’t always good for us. We rush from task to task, never getting to the end of our to-do list. We are under constant pressure to compare ourselves to someone else’s standards, never feeling we reach them. We receive constant messages of ‘more’: do more, be more, live more.

As a result, we can feel stressed, anxious, isolated or have low moods. We don’t feel happy with ourselves and others. These feelings lead to poor sleep, low energy, feeling angry and irritable, having a nagging sense of unhappiness, and rejecting or neglecting the things that bring us joy.

 It’s easy to slip into this way of living frantically, and hard to see a way out of it. But many people have found a way to do things differently with mindfulness. Against the constant pressure to ‘do’, the emphasis mindfulness places on ‘being’ comes as a welcome relief. It doesn’t necessarily mean that less gets done, rather that there’s greater satisfaction with what we consciously choose to do.

What is mindfulness?

At its heart, mindfulness guides us to live with greater skill, presence, kindness and spaciousness

The most concise definition of mindfulness is given by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the person whose work informs all current mindfulness training. He says:

Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment, on purpose, non-judgementally.

Does it sound like a tall order? We learn to do this gradually by following some formal practices and applying the insights which arise to the challenges of our daily lives when they inevitably appear.

Mindfulness doesn’t make the challenges go away, but it does help us fundamentally shift the way we meet them. Ultimately, this is the best coping strategy of all. By relating differently to ourselves, other people and stressful situations, we can see things afresh and find more skillful ways of moving through life.

Mindfulness formal practices

These take us back to basics

There are four central formal practices, which you would learn on most mindfulness courses. They are: sitting, moving, walking and eating. Yes, you read that right. And yes, we have been doing these all of our lives, so it can seem a bit silly to say this is what we’re learning. But we approach these activities in a particular way (with a beginner’s mind, we might say) and with a particular purpose.

We just do the practices and we wait and see what happens. Instead of desiring a particular outcome, we just pay attention to whatever is happening in the present moment. And then we relate to that with kindness and non-judgement.

Just describing it doesn’t do it justice.

That’s why we need to practice and why home practice is an important part of every mindfulness training. And once we have practiced formally for a little while, we can develop informal practices in our every day lives (you may have heard the saying, “when washing the dishes, just wash the dishes”, as encouragement to stay present and not get lost in worry, agitation or any other familiar thought habits).

And the more we practice, the more we notice the changes that are happening in ourselves and our lives.


We all practice mindfulness because we want an outcome, whether that’s to feel less stressed, to sleep better, to feel more in control, increase our resilience, have a better work/life balance, stop over-reacting, reduce anxiety, manage physical pain better, increase well-being, and so on … the list is almost endless.

Mindfulness can help with all of these goals, and it does. People report these benefits over and over again. They also report that they experience something even greater, a bit like a re-finding of themselves and an opening up to their life.

One of the greatest things that people appreciate about mindfulness seems to be its ability to help us ‘be’ with difficulties. Rather than just reacting to them automatically and unthinkingly, we can find a gap before we respond. You can probably get a sense of the feeling of freedom that comes with this, when we break out of repetitive patterns of thinking and behaving so that new possibilities open up.

However, we have to be careful not to oversell mindfulness.  It isn’t the answer to absolutely every question, and there are some things you’ll need to consider before you sign up to it.

How do I know if it's for me?

Mindfulness can definitely be a wonderful experience if you’re feeling life holds a few challenges at the moment and you want to create a bit of space to handle them.

It can also be great if you’re managing everything quite nicely and feel like you want to explore life at the next level up. If having time to smell the roses while you achieve lots sounds like your thing, then mindfulness can definitely help you do that more consistently and reliably.

If, however, you have had a serious or long-term mental health issue, then some caution is best. If this applies to you, please do give me a call to talk through your situation. Even if mindfulness is not appropriate for you right now, there may be other options I can offer, including yoga therapy.

Before anyone joins one of my mindfulness courses, a one-to-one conversation is needed by phone, Skype or in person so that you can ask any questions you may have, and I can guide you as to whether which programme might be right for you. If I have the sense that mindfulness can’t help you then I will say so, in order to save your time, money and frustration.

I offer three ways in which you can begin or enhance your mindfulness journey: one-to-one sessions; group programmes; and mindfulness business coaching. They each take place over eight consecutive (or nearly consecutive) weeks, because this has been found to be the best timescale for starting out with mindfulness. I hope at least one of these three routes fits your goals, your schedule and your budget.

What to look for in a mindfulness trainer

When you’re exploring which mindfulness trainer to learn with, there are some key things you’ll probably want to consider.

Do they have their own daily mindfulness practice and do they participate in an annual residential mindfulness retreat?

Have they completed an in-depth and rigorous teacher-training programme with a reputable trainer and practitioner over at least twelve months?

Do they follow the UK Good-practice Guidelines on teaching mindfulness-based courses?

Are used to working with groups and individuals on personal development?

I can confirm that I abide by all of the above (and do so very happily, because I understand their huge value).

 And the final question you may want to consider is:

Do you feel that working with this particular teacher over an eight-week period will help you?

 Mindfulness is a valuable undertaking that could significantly enrich your life. It’s important that you feel that the trainer and the setting they offer (the programme, the environment, the way they interact with you and others) are going to be helpful to you. There is likely to be a fair bit of seriousness on the journey, and it’s great if the trainer can help you to continue to access and appreciate the lighter things, too!

What to do next

Please get in touch with me to discuss mindfulness, your needs, and course availability.