“Is mindfulness right for me, just now?”

You may be wondering whether it is a okay to learn mindfulness, especially if times are tough. For example:

  • “Can I learn mindfulness, if I’m feeling anxious or depressed?”
  • “I’m feeling bereaved.”
  • I’ve just broken up with my partner.”

If you’re struggling with different mental and emotional states, mindfulness can certainly support you. Whether it feels right for you just now is a matter for your own judgement, given the class setting.

If you are enrolled to learn mindfulness in a University course or workshop, you will be in the class with other students, possibly up to 15-20 people in the room. The class will include interactive exercises where you chat with others, as well as learning a secular meditation, in which you sit quietly in the group, maybe with your eyes closed. So please take a moment to decide for yourself how you would feel in this setting. At particularly intense or emotional times, for example following recent loss or break-up, you might feel too upset to be comfortable in this situation. If you think you might feel tearful in the group, this might not feel okay for you. On the other hand, you may find the setting manageable and supportive.

How to decide?

Take a moment to pause and check in with yourself. Ask yourself, “What feels right for me, just
now?” Taking everything into account, “What feels manageable for me, this term?” Pause a little more, and give your feelings time to form.

You may have an instinct one way or the other. If so, then trust your instinct! You are the best person to decide. You can also talk it over with people who know you well.

Remember, there are other resources out there to support you, such as your College nurse, tutors, chaplain or counsellor, so on. If you do decide to enrol for the course, you will also have the support of your mindfulness teacher, who can be free before or after any class, or available over email.

Three steps for making a good decision:

  • Give yourself permission not to do the course, and then see how it feels;
  • Also give your permission to do the course, and then see how it feels;
  • Just sit with the decision a little longer and see if you have that sense of “What feels right for me, just now”.

Be patient! You may not have a strong sense of that straightaway, but over a couple of days, you might find the decision comes clear to you.

You can also email me: Email Elizabeth