Nicola Hare is a mindfulness teacher, sports masseuse, budding novelist and has had training in psychotherapy. She experienced Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after being undiagnosed meaning she had to put her life on hold. Today, she is teaching mindfulness.
Nicola, wanting to get her life back on track participated in a mindfulness course and not only did it help her overcome the condition, but she went on to train as a mindfulness teacher with Breath Works and taught it to adults and children in Costa Rica and in the UK.
“Mindfulness became a way of life for me and I saw other people suffering with all sorts of problems – addiction, fertility worries, chronic pain and anxiety and I just wanted to help. You can have twenty people in one room, each with different concerns and mindfulness can help each and every one because it’s the same principle,” Nicola said.
Nicola has since started her own company ‘Big Minds Little Minds’ providing mindfulness courses for both children and adults, promoting healthier responses to stress and encouraging people to enjoy life.
Nicola is passionate about teaching children aged seven and under as it is before this time that mindfulness can have a positive impact on skills that can serve them for life.
It helps calm and complete their emotional nervous system, promotes a healthy sense of self, and greater control over attention and awareness. Mindfulness gives them a ‘pause button’ allowing children to make conscious choices instead of reacting on impulse then feeling bad, regretful or getting into trouble.
In recent years, mindfulness has gained scientific credibility when neuroscientists proved with MRI scans that practising mindfulness it positively affects the brain areas related to perception, pain intolerance, emotion regulation and sense of self.
Nicola also runs classes for people with chronic pain and encourages the participants to accept pain and build on their management skills using mindful techniques.
From March 9 – 30 Nicola will be running an adult course called ‘Breathe Yourself Better’, to introduce people to the practice – the cost is £40 and sessions will run every Thursday evening from 7.00pm – 8.00pm in Pound Hill.
The course will not only focus on mindfulness, but it will explore how breathing affects your brain. For example, when we take shallow breaths, our brain thinks we are in danger, so it releases adrenaline and cortisol which ultimately causes stress.
Nicola explores the method of ‘back-breathing’ which tunes into our parasympathetic nervous system which is concerned with tissue repair, healing and regeneration of the body.
This technique gives us the power to influence which hormones are released based on how you breathe. Mindfulness is a discipline, and you will only notice the physical and mental benefits if you keep at it.
If you are interested and want to take part in any of Nicola’s mindfulness courses, visit her Facebook page for more information: www.facebook.com/bigmindslittleminds/
By Georgia Lambert