The life course

Helping you live life in all fullness
living life in all fullness

The life course

We all struggle with life at times. Sometimes things are more difficult than at others, and we can all benefit from developing new skills to help us to be more resilient, to be better equipped to deal with the ups and downs of life.

This is where The LIFE Course could help, now available free of charge in a slightly adapted form due to COVID-19.

Alongside each video is a link to download the full guide. If using this is a group resource you may wish to distribute these prior to the group session.

Suggested break-out questions for group leaders can be found here.

An overview of the course

The LIFE Course has arisen because we have found that there is a need for people to be encouraged to learn coping skills, and to be helped to take responsibility for their own journey to becoming more mentally well.

That is what this course is designed to do. The writer Paul says in his letter to the Philippians “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.” God can, and will, work through courses like this one as we each endeavour to grow towards wholeness.

A free download of the course introduction can be found here

what is coping? an introduction

Coping is the way that we respond to and deal with a particular situation. It involves the behaviours that we use in order to try to make our lives more bearable. Everyone has their own ways of coping, and these will often
change as we go through life. Stress, life events, and things that have happened in the past will all have an influence on the way we cope.

Having a mental health problem can also make it more difficult for us to cope with our normal daily activities and routines. If we are to learn new coping skills we first need to be aware of the situations that we are in and the skills that we already use to deal with them.

This is a simplified version of the way we would normally share this material. The full session download can be found here.

be still

Even when we are good at coping, life is often like a terrifying rollercoaster ride
which we can’t get off. Quite often we rush from one activity to another or one crisis to another, without taking time out to think and reflect. Sometimes this can mean that we feel more overwhelmed by events, and so are less able to cope with them even if we do have some good skills in place. In this session we are going to look at three ways of taking time out for a breather and for us to be able to get some perspective on our difficulties, and so hopefully be able to cope more effectively.

The full session download can be found here.

do not worry

Anxiety is a normal, healthy reaction to times of stress and worry. It causes our bodily functions to speed up, which in certain circumstances can
be a good thing: for example, if we need to escape quickly from a dangerous situation, or protect ourselves from a threat.However, it becomes a problem if it starts to interfere with our day to day living so it is helpful to learn how to control and minimise anxiety, and it can often be done without needing to
resort to professional help or medication.

The full session download can be found here.

dealing with feelings

Being emotional is a good thing, with our feelings often giving us guidance on what's right or wrong, good or bad. But sometimes our feelings are too strong, or are inappropriate to the situation, or are negative or destructive. At those times it is important that we learn to PACIFY ourselves.

In this session we look at a number of simple techniques for managing strong emotions. Ali teaches us to remember these techniques using the mnemonic PACIFY and talks us through what each of those letters stands for.

The full session download can be found here.

relationships: self

Low self-esteem presents a barrier to us experiencing the love of God and to us dealing effectively with the ups and downs of life; it can lead to us believing that we don’t actually deserve anything better, and so prevent us from even trying to use more positive coping skills. Sometimes we need to work on increasing our sense of self-worth, of recognising ourselves as beloved of God, in order to feel motivated to do something different. In this session, the first part of what was one longer session, we begin to think about the fact that what we believe about ourselves matters, and though it may have been affected by events outside our control, is something that we can change for the better.

The download for the original two-part session can be found here.

relationships

We were made to be in relationship with God and with each other. Mental health problems and the influence of past events can lead us to have low self-esteem and so to sometimes find it difficult to effectively communicate with other people, to say ‘no’ when we want to, and to maintain healthy relationships. This can lead to us feeling isolated and unable to sustain the social links that we do have. In this session we continue to think about our relationships and identify nine ingredients that are found in the Bible that we can utilise in developing the health of our interactions with others; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

The full session (including self-esteem) is found here

THE goal

Being stuck in thinking about past events can stop us from looking to the future and so making plans and setting goals. The Bible tells us that it is for freedom that we are set free, and that includes freedom from guilt, freedom from regret and freedom from holding grudges. Christians often struggle with goal setting despite being assured of that freedom. In this final session Ali takes us through a process of letting go of our past and imagining a better future before engaging in a practical, seven-step process of setting realistic, achievable goals. As there is quite a lot of practical thinking involved it would be helpful to have pen and paper to hand if possible.

The full session guide can be found here

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