PEACE OF MIND: Ben Engel, from Border Mindfulness, has been helping people manage their stress through relaxation and calming techniques, which his clients still use after finishing the course. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORGAFTER spending 17 years in a busy corporate role, it was mindfulness which proved to be the most valuable thing for Lionel Southgate.
Discovering the concept was something he described as a “turning point” in his life.
All the travel, the stress and the worry wore him down to the pointhe tooka month off work for health reasons.
It was during that time he heard about a mindfulness course run in Albury.
“In my last three or four months my body was telling me Ihad to stop doing what Iwas doing –Iwas consumed with worry,” he said.
“All of my life I’d probably struggled with controlling stress and I’d heard about meditation and all these other things.
“I never really got into those things because Ididn’t have time or didn’t believe in it.”
Mr Southgate attended an information night withBorder Mindfulness about three years ago and decided to sign up for an eight-week course.
He has since changed careers and saidhe had become muchcalmer.
“The course was good for understanding the philosophy of being able to relax and its benefits,” Mr Southgate said.
“Istill use those techniques today, I try to do it every morning and night.
“It was a turning point in my life.”
The course is facilitated by Ben Engel, who claims it is the only evidence-based program of its kind on the Border.
Mr Engel has been using mindfulnessfor about 20 years ago and began teaching it in 2010.
He receives referrals from psychologists, but said he had also helped people who were stressed, unwell or struggling with mental illness.
“For me it comes down to helping people learn about stress and torespond rather than react,” Mr Engeltold The Border Mail.
“Often it’s how we react to events which causes stress.
“I have a chronic illness,Crohn’s disease, and mindfulness helped me accept it.
“It freed up my resistance and gave me the energy to look after myself.”
Another client, Sarah, said she used a technique from the course daily.
“It was aboutnoticing the way you’re feeling and not reacting to it,” she said.
“It was a huge learning curve for me.”
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