Relaxation and Mindfulness classes

We run a small informal relaxation class where everybody is welcome. No previous experience is needed. You will be guided through a range of relaxation techniques by Dene, one of our counsellors.

This class is run each Thursday morning from 10.00am.  Please ring 01283 566696 to book your place.

Take a break

Relaxation doesn’t have to take up lots of your time – just stepping away from something stressful for a few minutes or taking time away from your normal routines and thoughts can give you enough space and distance to feel calmer.

Exploring relaxation can help you look after your well-being when you’re feeling stressed or busy.

How to use Relaxation exercises

  • You can use these exercises when you’re feeling stressed, busy or worried.
  • Don’t worry if one technique doesn’t work for you – try it a few times and, if it doesn’t feel effective, move on to a different exercise.

You can use relaxation techniques regularly, or every once in a while

Try and make some time in your day to try these exercises. Don’t treat relaxing like a task that needs to be completed – try to think of it as giving yourself some time and space.

Find somewhere quiet and comfortable where you won’t be interrupted, if you can.

Make sure your surroundings are the right temperature – it can be hard to relax if you’re too hot or cold.

Take a break

Relaxation doesn’t have to take up lots of your time – just stepping away from something stressful for a few minutes or taking time away from your normal routines and thoughts can give you enough space and distance to feel calmer.

Exploring relaxation can help you look after your wellbeing when you’re feeling stressed or busy.

Practicing relaxation techniques can have many benefits, including:

  • Slowing heart rate
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Slowing your breathing rate
  • Improving digestion
  • Maintaining normal blood sugar levels
  • Reducing activity of stress hormones
  • Increasing blood flow to major muscles
  • Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
  • Improving concentration and mood
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Lowering fatigue
  • Reducing anger and frustration
  • Boosting confidence to handle problems

How will this help?

  • When you’re stressed, your muscles might be tight and tense.
  • This exercise helps you notice tension in your body and relax your muscles.

What do I need?

  • somewhere comfortable to sit or lie down
  • space where you won’t be Interrupted

What do I do?

  • Lie down or sit with your back straight and your feet on the floor.
  • Close your eyes or focus on a spot in the distance.
  • Start by clenching your toes as much as you can for a few seconds then releasing them.
  • Notice the difference between the two feelings.
  • Match this to your breathing.
  • Tense your muscles as you take a deep breath in, and relax as you breathe out.
  • Move up your body, clenching and relaxing each muscle.
  • Take time to notice any parts of your body that feel tense, tight or tired.
  • You can repeat if you still feel tense.
  • Take a moment to relax, then slowly and gently begin to move.
  • When you feel ready, you can stand up slowly.

Alternatives

  • Instead of tensing your muscles, try placing something warm on each part of your body in turn.

Mindful Breathing

The primary goal of mindful breathing is simply a calm, non-judging awareness, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go without getting caught up in them.

  • Sit comfortably, with your eyes closed and your spine reasonably straight.

  • Bring your attention to your breathing.

  • Imagine that you have a balloon in your tummy. Every time you breathe in, the balloon inflates. Each time you breathe out, the balloon deflates. Notice the sensations in your abdomen as the balloon inflates and deflates. Your abdomen rising with the in-breath, and falling with the out-breath.

  • Thoughts will come into your mind, and that’s okay, because that’s just what the human mind does. Simply notice those thoughts, then bring your attention back to your breathing.

  • Likewise, you can notice sounds, physical feelings, and emotions, and again, just bring your attention back to your breathing.

  • You don’t have to follow those thoughts or feelings, don’t judge yourself for having them, or analyse them in any way. It’s okay for the thoughts to be there. Just notice those thoughts, and let them drift on by, bringing your attention back to your breathing.

  • Whenever you notice that your attention has drifted off and is becoming caught up in thoughts or feelings, simply note that the attention has drifted, and then gently bring the attention back to your breathing.

  • It’s okay and natural for thoughts to enter into your awareness, and for your attention to follow them. No matter how many times this happens, just keep bringing your attention back to your breathing.