The author of this book and associated exercises is Caroline Adcock.
She lives in East Sussex and has been a mediator and counsellor for many years. More recently she has been a listener for the Samaritans.
Her book, together with the ME FIT programme, was inspired by the challenges and difficulties facing so many of us today.
Take a look inside ……………….
What’s all this about?
Modern life is full of ideas and methods to improve physical fitness and the health of the body. This has generated a huge amount of research and investment across the globe, yet most of us allow our minds to do their own thing, with very little attention given to achieving improvements in mental health and fitness.
Attitudes about how to achieve mental health in modern society are sketchy and inadequate. We have very little idea about how to cure our worries, shortcomings, bad habits and regrets, and even less on how to use effective methods to lead healthier and happier lives. Why remain a victim to all the ills which befall us simply through ignorance and lack of application? If we really do want to shift our direction of travel some serious efforts will be needed to change the way we live our lives today.
This book is all about introducing a watching brief over our mind by becoming more aware of how important thoughts are in shaping our experiences, our health and our sense of well-being. It provides a simple explanation and rationale for a number of different techniques, with exercises on how we can use them to good effect as part of our everyday life.
There is nothing new or clever about these ideas, and there will be much in this book that you recognize already; it’s just basic common sense, a phrase which is often used to describe what the majority of us would like to think we might do in any particular situation based on social norms and accepted wisdom. However, it’s very easy for even this basic rule of thumb to go out the window when the emotions take over. Putting a structure in place, together with timely reminders for regular practice, is the proven method for achieving physical fitness so why not do the same in order to achieve mental fitness?
All forms of discipline and training require a sustained effort. This handbook is here to help you and with patience and effort you will succeed.
Once we realise the power which thoughts can have over our well-being, and how easily they colonise our minds, we will want to do something about them. Awareness means that choice becomes possible, and we can decide whether we live in a weed infested field or a beautiful garden.
Mindfulness is a popular idea these days but I’m not sure if people really understand what mindfulness is all about and how they might achieve it. There is certainly an attraction in the idea of living in the moment and maintaining a calm and serene approach to life without being knocked off balance by unwelcome events. However, emptying the mind of thoughts is a challenge for western societies, where the accolades are given to those who take action in order to be successful.
Getting to where we want to be is often about going out and competing or conquering. Our culture puts value on acts of heroic achievement without really weighing up what the consequences might be.
The ME FIT programme adopts a more pro-active approach in order to achieve that same sense of tranquility, but uses a method more in tune with the path which so many follow today in order to improve their physical fitness. Many of the exercises and techniques outlined in the following pages can be adapted to suit individual needs and lifestyles, and I would encourage everyone to keep a notebook and record their responses, solutions and ideas for practice.
Once the journey begins there is no stopping and one idea will inevitably trigger another. Here’s to the process and the transformative power of positive thinking.