New Year brings new support and mindfulness courses

Date published: 01 January 2021

Healthy Minds and Thinking Ahead have upcoming mindfulness courses to support people feeling stressed, anxious, depressed or worried.

Mindfulness is a way of focusing on the present moment, often practised by paying attention to the breath as a form of meditation.

It can help people to enjoy life more and be better able to manage difficult thoughts and feelings.

The courses on offer are mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which is supported by lots of scientific research and evidence.

These last for eight weeks, with a two-hour session per week and daily practices to try at home. This is designed for small groups of eight to 12 people.

Local man Keith Fox recently completed an online mindfulness course with Thinking Ahead.

Keith said: “Prior to this course I had noticed issues with my sleep pattern, problems with concentration and memory. I experienced periods of high anxiety, feeling restless and irritable.

"I also developed a lack of motivation to do the things I once enjoyed.

The eight week group has enabled me to be more reflective and considered, and I have learnt not be as reactive emotionally.

I have learnt to be more grounded, accepting and present focused, and I’m no longer caught up in the cycle of trying to analyse things.

"I still regularly practice and it is now part of my daily routine.

I’m also involved in voluntary work, mindfulness helps keep me grounded and enables me to see the bigger picture and a wider perspective on things, which is helpful.”

Christina Shennan, psychological therapist and mindfulness teacher, said: “Mindfulness can be helpful for people who are stressed, anxious, or stuck in thinking about the past or worrying about the future.

It can also help those who suffer with repeat episodes of depression.

The courses will give people a chance to try mindfulness, although it’s not for everyone and is not a quick fix. It takes some time and practice to get the benefits.”

For more information about mindfulness and to try some online practices, visit:

Oldham course dates

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy sessions are Thursdays, 5 to 7pm, from January 2021, and will be delivered by Healthy Minds Oldham.

The team are also planning a new mindfulness for health group on Tuesday afternoons, for people struggling with pain or long-term health condition.

People can sign up by completing a self-referral form, listing the mindfulness course they are interested in:

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