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Introduction to Week 2

Watch Craig and Richard introduce the topic for this week, mindful stress reduction.
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CRAIG HASSED: Increasingly, stress is becoming a almost normal part of day-to-day life. We get hassled over things– the pressures, the time pressures. The way that technology intrudes on our personal life, and we take work home with us. There are so many more things that we have to deal with that can increase the pressure and stress of modern life. And then some of the ways we try to deal with that don’t necessarily help. Sometimes we use substances, or abuse them. We get angry and frustrated. We sometimes withdraw. And so clearly we need to find better ways to deal with that.
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And that’s one of the main reasons that people are interested in mindfulness is to deal with the stress of day-to-day life.
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RICHARD CHAMBERS: Yeah. So this week we’re going to look at what stress is, and how we create it in our mind through certain mental habits and behaviours and reactions. We’re also going to look at how mindfulness can help us with that– help us to reduce it, to notice when we’re inappropriately activating the fight and flight response. We’re going to look at the science behind mindfulness and mindful stress reduction, and also some of the cognitive practises– looking at how certain ways of thinking can actually lead to stress and other behaviours and emotions.
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CRAIG HASSED: So there’s a fair bit to cover this week, and we don’t want you to get stressed about the amount of volume of things we need to cover in our stress management. So you go at your own pace and you’ll be as if you were going in as much depth as you want to. But at the same time, just remember that mindfulness is awareness. So it will make us more aware of stress, which can feel sometimes a little bit uncomfortable at first. So just be gentle with yourself. Realise it’s a process and it takes time, and we’ll try and guide you through that.
Watch Craig and Richard introduce the topic for this week, improving work and study performance.
We refer to work and study throughout this week and the course as a whole, but we recognise that a lot of our learners are older and no longer in full-time work.
We also recognise that work doesn’t just include paid employment, but can also include volunteering, caring and working around the home. Learning can also include learning for personal and professional interest and not just at a school or university.

This week’s meditations

This week you’ll have the chance to practise and experiment with Training the puppy and Cultivating curiosity meditations.
Rather than skipping straight to these exercises now, we strongly encourage you to work through the steps preceding these meditations to help better prepare you for these practices.

Mental health disclosure

This course is not designed to be therapeutic for any particular physical or mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, psychosis and post-traumatic stress. So if you have any significant health concerns, we ask you not to discuss personal details about this on a public forum such as this, and we strongly encourage you to seek professional advice and support.
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Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance

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