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29 March, 2019
News Story


Last month we introduced new mindfulness sessions for our residents, facilitated by our Mental Health Volunteer, Alaa.

A recent survey found that 39% of adults in the UK admit to feeling ‘too stressed in their day to day lives’, with 54% of stressed people worrying about the impact it has on their health.

Inevitably, people experiencing homelessness suffer high levels of stress exasperated by their lack of control over their housing situations and poor living conditions. Last year, 40% of our residents had support needs relating to their mental health, and as such providing support to improve mental health continues to be a priority.

One aspect of this work is helping our residents learn how to manage their own stress and its effects on both mental and physical health. That’s why we are delighted to have started offering new weekly mindfulness sessions, as part of our wellbeing programme.

Mindfulness is a mind-body based training that helps people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences, using techniques such as yoga, meditation and breathing. For people who suffer from anxiety, depression or stress, mindfulness can offer a way out of those negative thought patterns and is recommended for those who want to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Alaa, a volunteer from Goldsmiths University, facilitates these sessions with residents. She focuses on autogenic relaxation – a therapy that trains a person to access their own physical relaxation process. Alaa uses an exercise which is helpful to alleviate moments of high stress and nervousness by addressing breathing, and relaxing muscles, tension and stiffness symptomatic of anxiety.

Alaa said, “The sessions have been going really well so far, and it’s nice to see people coming back each week. It’s really rewarding to hear how residents are able to take away learnings from the sessions and use the techniques to reduce stress levels in their everyday lives.”

To read more about how to practise mindfulness yourself at home please click here

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