Optimising Mental Health through Mindfulness: A student perspective
DIPHE Therapeutic Counselling Student Fiona Amery explains how Gelong Thubten has given her valuable tips on mindfulness to implement in her daily life.
I decided to attend the Gelong Thubten talk at the last minute and am glad I decided to do so. Being able to access this type of event online and through the university is a privilege and opens up a world of learning that is only possible through technology. I have attended several webinars throughout the pandemic and have gained a vast amount of knowledge that has inspired me in many ways, including contributing to my essays and enhancing my knowledge on aspects of my counselling journey.
Meditation is something I have been interested in for a while, in 2016 I was extremely ill after being diagnosed with chronic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, several professionals mentioned mindfulness but my head just wasn’t in the right place to do it. I had read literature on meditation, downloaded apps on my phone, but I just couldn’t seem to get it right, there was so much conflicting information to getting it just ‘right’.
However, after watching the webinar with Gelong Thubten I identified with him almost straight away as he had suffered mental ill health and as a result had followed a different path in life; this life incorporated meditation and he explained it in its simplest form, no deep breathing, no long exhales, just breathing, normal breathing and when the mind starts to wander (which in OCD it often does) gently bring it back and continue to breathe – so simple, yet so effective.
I now incorporate this into my day and also in a mental health support group that I facilitate for – ‘It’s Worth Talking About’. Having the opportunity to listen to the webinar has not only influenced my life but has also influenced those who attend the support group.