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Since 5th July my colleague Heather Davies has been helping me to show the current Epilepsy Futures group a range of mindfulness related meditation techniques, to help  deal with stress and anxiety “in the moment”.

Dealing effectively with stressful thoughts, emotions and situations is important for all of us in this world we live in.

For people with epilepsy it is even more pressing, as stress can be a trigger for someone having seizure activity, and so effective techniques are a component of good self-management.

Over the last couple of months the group has had the chance to-

  • learn about and practice basic Traditional Japanese Reiki meditation exercises
  • find out about progressive relaxation techniques
  • experiment with the use of safe aromatherapy oils
  • try some basic self massage
  • attend an introductory yoga session
  • understand how they can incorporate mindfulness in daily activities, like eating, walking, sitting on the bus, etc.

 

Steven Connelly, Epilepsy Avenger,   peer mentor volunteer and graduate of Epilepsy Futures shares his own thoughts about the last session, which took place on Thursday 23rd August.

Heather delivered a very constructive and engaging workshop on Mindfulness and Relaxation to the current group of Futures participants.

The aim was to teach us techniques that we can put in to practice, on a daily basis which will benefit and encourage us not to lose touch with our inner self.

It is so easy with the active lives we all lead in today’s society to start living in our heads and get swept up in a world of darkness and negativity without even realising.

Heather taught us  that a important part of mindfulness is associated our bodies with sensations that we use one a daily basis. This could mean a sight, sound, smell, or even taste of the present moment or even the past that you remember as a child.

Something that we all found really interesting and beneficial was when Heather explained to us that the key to mindful eating is to slow down and fully engage all the senses, when we eat for example a slice of cake or just a chocolate peppermint sweet.

We can savour the smell of mixed spices, and all ingredients that particular cake is made from, and take a moment to embrace its texture.

Think of the time it took to soak the peppermint in the chocolate, so that we can enjoy eating it in this moment.

Even if we’re sampling wine we can apply the same attention, savouring the warmth of our wine or the bubbles in our wines and champagne, we can mindfully enjoy getting a little light-headed and merry, and of course we can also savour the company of our friends and loved ones.

It’s usually only when we do these things mindlessly that we end up regretting them, we knock back too much wine or overeat without noticing, and are then left with all the bad feelings that come after, like a hangover or a stomach ache.

By being present while we eat and drink, we can monitor our feelings as we go and will know when we’ve had enough.

Heather’s workshop was extremely valuable and enjoyable for everyone, the futures group learned extremely, valuable mindfulness techniques that can approve emotional and certainty physical health associated with epilepsy and everyday life.

Mindfulness is a incredible exercise for stress, individuals can use it at anytime.

Epilepsy Futures has been shortlisted for Self Management Project of the Year, 2018.

If you have enjoyed reading this post, we’d be grateful if you’d considering voting for us.

 

Peter Dale