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Hi, I?m Paul, a Well Being Course Practitioner for Valleys Steps and although I deliver the Stress Control & Mindfulness for Everyday courses on a regular basis I asked myself what do I get out of the courses?

Before I joined Valleys Steps I practiced mindfulness meditation and did Yoga three times a week, I still do. I like being active, going out and trying to get as much as possible out of life. I thought I was doing enough to ensure I was being well, and I was, however I had this nagging doubt in my mind that I could do more. I would often say to myself, ?I should do more exercise?, ?I should do more meditation?, ?I shouldn?t get irritable in traffic jams?, ?I should drink less caffeine?, ?I should eat a better diet? and ?I should be happier!?

Now this is a common thinking habit we all participate in and despite being a meditator and doing yoga I still had these common unhelpful thoughts. It wasn?t until I started to learn about  mindfulness that I realised these thoughts were unhelpful!! In fact they were draining me, they didn?t motivate me, they made me feel low and self-conscious and I thought I ?should? be doing more.

So what changed? As well as delivering the Stress Control course I tried living it and realised that instead of bashing myself, I learnt to applaud what I was doing and recognised the areas in my life I could change. For example, I would worry about getting enough sleep at night which would lead me to becoming irritable when I heard sounds and made me irritable and grumpy in the morning. On the Stress Control course I learnt how to change my bedtime routine using small changes such as not using my tablet and phone in bed. On the Mindfulness for Everyday course I learnt a sound meditation that helped me change from reacting to sounds to responding ? it made a massive difference!!

So what has Valleys Steps courses done for me?

Nothing!!

But what they have helped me take away is my anxiety and worries about having a good night?s sleep, they have taken away my panic about driving to cities, they have taken away my overreaction to sounds, they have taken away my overuse of caffeine and best of all the courses have taken away my irritability and thinking things should be different – I have learnt to let go of things that in the past would bother me.

For more information on Valleys Steps courses go to http://valleyssteps.org/course-information/courses/

Thanks for reading,
Paul Griffiths
Well being course practitioner

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