As a result of a stroke, Jenny (40) was left with cognitive difficulties and was unable to return to her job as a school teacher in Gosport. Jenny was finding social situations embarrassing, daily tasks were challenging and she was becoming increasingly overwhelmed and stressed. To help with her adjustment and ability to cope, Jenny was currently seeing a Clinical Psychologist, after a few months they thought it would also be helpful for Jenny to have an introduction to mindfulness with the Assistant Psychologist.
Mindfulness involves a non-religious form of meditation that facilitates paying attention in a particular way. Practising Mindfulness enables a change in the relationship we have with our thoughts and emotions, allowing a more accepting and less judgemental way of living life. Mindfulness has been found to help people see situations more clearly, respond more effectively to complex or difficult situations, more generally it has improved peoples quality of life, emotional functioning and ability to cope with their medical condition.
Jenny was initially skeptical of mindfulness but as her mind was constantly racing with worries and thoughts which made her anxious, restless, unable to relax and sometimes angry, she decided to give it a go. She attended weekly sessions with the Assistant Psychologist, these involved exercises which helped her to focus on her breath, body and thoughts, and for the first time since her stroke she felt her mind was calm for just a few minutes. She continued to practice at home and used the sessions to develop her skills and discuss her experience of practicing mindfulness. She started to be able to use the skills in stressful situations as they occurred day to day. Once Jenny felt more able to cope with social situations she joined our ‘Mindfulness Drop-In’ group which enabled her to attend on the weeks which suited her, meet other people who were in a similar situation, practice her mindfulness and share experiences about the practice.
Jenny felt that joining the ‘Mindfulness Drop-In’ group was essential to maintain a regular practice and over the coming months she was able to take her practice into all areas of her life. She felt that she was now less anxious, angry and restless. She was now able to relax and felt more confident in her ability to cope with challenging situations. She felt that mindfulness was not the answer to all of her problems but a fantastic tool for her to have in her life.
We hold a Mindfulness Drop-In group for people who have had a neurological injury/diagnosis and their partners or support workers. Please contact us for more information.