Free course offers guide to less stressful life

A CHANCE to learn how to take better care of yourself and get the most out of life is being offered in Dumfries from next Wednesday.

Nithsdale Health Improvement Team are preparing to launch a new free, run of the Mindfulness Course, which is an interactive approach helping to change the way we think about feel about experiences in our life – especially stressful ones.

Nithsdale Public Health Practitioner Tina Gibson is helping to deliver the eight sessions which begin on Wednesday January 17 at 10 am, and she said: “To deliver the course you have to practice mindfulness – meditating twice a day.

“For me, it’s made me calmer, happier and just lighter. It’s helped me to understand that I don’t know what everyone else is thinking, made me less judgemental and helped me to sleep better.”

The sessions help people to gain a better understanding of their thought patterns and feelings, so they become more aware of them but less occupied by them and better able to manage them.

The course aims to assist people in taking better care of themselves and getting the most out of living. And the majority of people who take part in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR) course report lasting physical and psychological benefits.

These include:

  • An improvement in      concentration levels
  • The ability to      step back and see things more clearly
  • Coping better with      negative thoughts
  • The ability to      relax

To get the most out of the course, participants must be able to commit to attending all eight sessions. And they will be expected to make a commitment to doing daily home practice of approximately 20 minutes during the eight weeks of the course.

The course teaches mindfulness as a life skill, and people will not be expected to discuss personal issues. The course book which comes with a CD is Mindfulness – A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. And at times the course will involve doing some gentle movement using floor mats, with participants asked to wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing.

Explaining why they took part, a participant on a past course said: “As a full-time carer I was very stressed, and I thought this could be beneficial to me coping with the day-to-day.”

Offering a verdict, one said: “I’m a lot less stressed and a nurse at my practice could see a big difference in me. She said I was more happy looking and relaxed.”

Another said: “I have been sleeping better. I’m more positive, looking at my surroundings and realising my situation is not all negative.”

The course runs at Georgetown Community Centre, Georgetown Road, Dumfries, on Wednesdays, on January 17, 24, 31, February 7, 21, 28, and March 7 and 14, from 10 am to 12 noon.

To find out more, and apply for a space, contact Tina Gibson on 07736955498 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.