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UK Coaching Team
36
Safety and Welfare Self-care and development

Mindfulness Practice Can Improve Well-being

In part one of a two-part series produced in partnership with leading mental health charity Mind in recognition of Mindful Monday, Head of Physical Activity at Mind Hayley Jarvis explores the concept of mindfulness and its role in your self-care toolkit

Mindful Monday is an initiative that forms part of the #BeActive Great British Week of Sport. Funded by the European Commission and ukactive, the initiative aims to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity. In recognition of Mindful Monday, Head of Physical Activity at Mind Hayley Jarvis explains the concept of mindfulness and how it can be beneficial.

Mindfulness is a technique you can learn that involves making a special effort to notice what's happening in the present moment (in your mind, body and surroundings), without reaching any judgements. It has roots in Buddhism and meditation, but you don't have to be spiritual, or have any specific beliefs, to try it or to enjoy positive results.

What are the benefits to mindfulness?

Many people find practising mindfulness helps them manage their day-to-day well-being. It can also help people to:

  • become more self-aware
  • feel calmer and less stressed
  • feel more able to choose how to respond to their thoughts and feelings
  • cope with difficult or unhelpful thoughts
  • be kinder towards themselves.

Is mindfulness beneficial for everyone?

Although anyone can try it, being mindful isn't always easy to do. It can take practice and might not be right for everyone. Some people feel mindfulness puts them in touch with feelings they have been pushing away and is as a result quite distressing. 

If it doesn’t work for you, then it’s important not to blame yourself. Looking after your mental health can be difficult, especially when you're not feeling well. It can take time and may not be straightforward. But many people find that with the right combination of treatments, self-care and support, it is possible to feel better.

Importantly, it is not essential to understand and have a background in mental health to practise mindfulness, but it can be useful. 

Consider

There is a lot of information regarding mindfulness and how to practice it online and via apps. There are also mindfulness courses available that range from introductory to formal qualifications.

 

How can coaches use mindfulness for themselves or the people they coach?

Anyone can try mindfulness, including coaches and people receiving coaching. For those starting out on their mindfulness journey, Mind’s mindfulness exercises and tips webpage contains several introductory exercises, including mindful:

  • eating
  • moving, walking or running
  • drawing.

It also contains information on mediation and on how to conduct a body scan.

Consider

The key step is to build mindfulness into your routine, such as by incorporating a mindful walk into your morning routine or using it as part of your commute. It may be necessary to try a few different approaches to discover what works best for you.

 

Mindful Monday 2020

Mindful Monday 2020 takes place on 21 September as part of the Great British Week of Sport. To help people to take part in mindful activities on Mindful Monday, Mind have created a Mindful Walking activity sheet and a Yoga activity sheet. Mind have also worked with Forestry England to create a forest yoga video, designed to help you feel uplifted and reconnect with your environment.

Tips for Mindfulness Practice

Part two of our two-part series produced in partnership with leading mental health charity Mind contains top tips for mindfulness practice

READ THE TIPS

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Related Resources

  • Fifteen Ways to Improve Coach Well-being

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  • Coach Well-being: Taking Time for Yourself

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  • Duty to Care: Supporting the People You Coach and Yourself

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UK Coaching Team