‘Don’t worry-be happy’ – a mental well-being workshop
There was some input and teaching from the tutor, but learning also took place through pair exercises and small and large group discussions. Ingrid gave a short talk about mindfulness, its origins and how it is a helpful tool for calming the mind, tackling anxiety and learning to live in the moment.
The group then did some simple mindfulness practices, which were repeated several times during the day. Ingrid felt these ‘spaces’ and times of silence also contributed to a positive atmosphere in the group and active participation by the group members. As one person commented:
“We were at ease and our interaction led to greater understanding.”
Another person said that it had made them more confident to become involved with meditation.
The group looked at causes of common mental health problems (depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and health related issues), which affects one in six people according to a recent BBC survey. Ingrid taught the group a dynamic approach to psychological difficulties linking the past, the present and other aspects of a person’s life.
The group also discussed what is required for a person to experience mental well-being. In the final session we explored what is available for people with common mental health issues and learnt about diet & exercise, support groups as well as counselling and therapy. Participants commented that learning more about counselling was really beneficial, particularly due to limited knowledge as to what can be achieved in a helping relationship, where only the client matters.
One participant wrote that she now tells her friends ‘Don’t worry-be happy’ as it makes people feel more relaxed. Another participant summed things up by saying:
“The workshop was helpful as it provided practical advice and information about mental well-being and I felt more positive through having taken part.”
In the closing session there was a general consensus, as mental well-being issues affect so many people directly or indirectly, it is important and also empowering to learn more about this area of health. It takes away unnecessary fears and a certain prejudice still associated with psychological suffering.
Participants agreed that learning about mindfulness provided them with a helpful tool.
There is going to be another mental well-being workshop like this run by Ingrid Schultz on Sat 11 March 2017 at the Cheese & Grain.