Full course description
Changes in Irish society over the past five years have been unprecedented with greater demands on people to constantly adapt and respond to current social challenges and global events. Clear evidence is now emerging on the impact of this challenging environment which currently permeates our culture. According to a current Red C poll, 53% of all those aged between 18 and 35 in Ireland now claim to regularly feel stress while over a third of all adults in Ireland (36%) say that they regularly suffer from stress. Self-care, self-regulation and building resilience are now common themes with an increased emphasis being placed on each individual to build personal skills to help manage the unpredictable and volatile nature of our society.
Research demonstrates that training in mindfulness can lead to a significant reduction of stress, an increase in levels of emotional intelligence, increased levels of interpersonal effectiveness, increased self-awareness, better communication skills, increased concentration, lower levels of psychological distress and higher levels of well-being and resilience. This introductory programme to mindfulness provides the participant with the opportunity to build a committed mindfulness practice and to explore how it can be used in contemporary society to reduce stress and build resilience.
The programme brings together concepts from the eastern philosophy of mindfulness and corresponding western psychology to address some key areas in relation to self-care and present moment awareness. Mindfulness is a simple yet very powerful practice of bringing attention to what’s happening here and now (i.e. sensations, thoughts, and emotions) in a non-judgmental way. It enables the practitioner to work skillfully with concepts such as attention, intention and attitude in order to create better communication and listening skills. This programme will introduce participants to a variety of mindfulness practices, that can be easily integrated into daily life, which help to savour positive experiences, manage difficulty, and become more self-aware. In addition to learning a variety of meditation practices, the course provides a supportive environment to learn about mindfulness, discuss its use in a variety of settings and develop a personal practice to support self in everyday life.
This course will take place for 8-Weeks, from 30 January to 27 March 2023
Mondays from 10.00am to 12.00 noon
Location: Online only over Microsoft Teams
Week 1: What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is defined as the awareness that arises from paying attention on purpose in the present moment non-judgmentally (Kabat-Zinn, J. 1990). The present moment is the only time we have for perceiving, learning, growing and transforming. Session one focuses on defining mindfulness and examining some of the myths that exit around this practice.
Week 2: Foundational Attitudes of mindfulness
Nine foundational attitudes serve to support us in our exploration of mindfulness, they allow us to delve into the eastern philosophy of mindfulness and to examine some of the key works of Jon Kabat-Zinn in helping to establish the use of mindfulness in western society.
Week 3: Attention, Intention and Attitude
The work of Shauna Shapiro is examined to unpack these three key concepts of mindfulness, which support us in bringing mindfulness into our everyday lives.
Week 4: Mindfulness and Perception
Perception and creative responding: How we perceive experiences will determine in large measure how we react or respond to them. Creating spaciousness around experiences allows for greater insight, calmness and choice in relation to how we engage.
Week 5: Mindfulness and Inquiry
While we gravitate towards the importance of practicing mindfulness in our daily lives, our ability to use self-inquiry as part of our practice is equally important in order to grow and deepen our practice. Inquiry helps us to recognize patterns of emotions, thoughts and behaviours, which allow us gain self-insight and understanding.
Week 6: Mindfulness and Self Care
Resilience, self -care and self-management are key concepts in today’s society and are central to effectively navigating the challenges of daily life. Mindfulness plays a key part in supporting wellbeing and helping to provide us with balance and grounding.
Week 7: Mindfulness and Compassion
Given that self-talk can at times be very critical and negative, introducing compassion to self and to others can help to restore balance and regain perspective. Mindfulness is relational and this begins with fostering a supportive and positive relationship with self
Week 8: Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Keeping up the momentum of your mindfulness practice will help to embed your practice into your daily life. Both formal and informal practice play a part in this process.
Elizabeth O’Leary holds an MSc in Mindfulness Based Wellbeing from UCC and a Post Graduate Certificate in Mindfulness Based Practice and Research. She is a member of the Mindfulness Teachers Association of Ireland. Her H.Dip from UCC in Coaching Psychology gives her an insight into the psychological challenges which people currently experience and how best to build self-care practices that helps to navigate the complex nature of everyday life.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old at course commencement.
Short courses are not assessed. Students will receive a UCC Certificate of Attendance upon completion.
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