The Youth Cafe in Portlaoise became a haven from the lunchtime madness last Thursdsay as Family Therapist and Mindfulness Trainer with Ana Liffey Drug Project, Claire O’Rourke presented an introduction to Mindfulness.
Claire explained to her participants that Mindfulness involved deliberately bringing our attention into the present moment with open-hearted awareness and with an attitude of kindness towards ourselves.
The workshopwas part of the Laois Connects week.
The first exercise involved examining a raisin through touch, smell and taste which evoked different feelings in the eager participants.
The Mindfulness workshop was one of two held last week as part of Laois Connects week, which promoted positive mental health and wellbeing.
Up to 20 people attended the lunchtime workshop with a full house expected later that night in Treo Nua in Harpurs Lane.
“Mindfulness teaches us to direct our attention to what is happening right here, right now, with an attitude of kindness towards ourselves and our experience,” Claire explained.
Mindfulness is based on the work of Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn. There has been a sizeable body of research carried out over the last 35 years which indicates that a regular mindfulness practice helps the body/mind respond rather than react to stress, leaving valuable resources for taking care of our general health and well-being.
It is increasingly being recognised as a key element in supporting emotional well being in a wide variety of medical settings.
Claire encouraged her clients to do just ten minutes of meditation every day.
“I get up half an hour earlier in the morning to do my meditation, but for me that means going to bed half an hour earlier the night before,” Claire said, acknowledging her clients busy lives.
“Aim for ten minutes a day, and at least if you get in five you’re doing somethng.”