It was good to see everyone at the Alzheimer Cafe Leixlip on November 9th. We hope everyone enjoyed the evening.

Our speaker was Tricia Pugh and she introduced us to Mindfulness and relaxation. Tricia has qualifications in Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behaviour and Professional Relaxation Therapy. She has a background in nursing and has always worked in a caring profession, including the use of mindfulness in cancer support.

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Using a great analogy of a car, Tricia explained how changing what we think (front left wheel) or how we do (front right wheel) automatically starts a change in our physiology (our physical bodies – the back left wheel) and our emotions (the back right wheel). Essentially by changing the course of either front wheel, the back wheels have to follow!

Mindfulness is one technique that helps us to do that. By being in the present and focusing, for example on our breathing, we can slow down our physical bodies and calm our minds. This doesn’t mean ignoring what is troubling us but it just gives a little space to break away from the spiralling thoughts.

Sometimes, action or a change in scenery can also help. So, change rooms, step out into the garden, or start a new task to try to disrupt whirring thoughts.

Tricia took us through some sample exercises and these (the bodyscan, ten minute mindfulness of breathing) and others are available for everyone to use on The Counselling Teams website – click here to access.