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Mindfulness What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgementally to things ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness?
  • Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through
    paying attention on purpose, in the present
    moment, and non judgementally to things as they
    are. This means paying attention to things are
    they really are in any given moment not what we
    want them to be.

  • Through mindfulness, you discover how to live in
    the present moment in an enjoyable way rather
    than worrying about the past or being concerned
    about the future.
  • Mindfulness is a translation of the Indian word,
    Sati, which means awareness, attention and

Breaking it Down
  • You can break down the meaning of mindfulness as
  • Paying attention To be mindful, you need to pay
    attention, whatever you choose to attend to.
  • Present Moment The reality of being in the here
    and now means you just need to be aware of the
    way things are as they are now. Your experience
    is valid and correct just as it is.
  • Non reactively Normally, when you experience
    something you automatically react to that
    experience according to your past conditioning.
    Example if you think, I still havent finished
    my work, you react with thoughts, word and
    actions in some shape or form. Mindfulness
    encourages you to respond to your experience
    rather then react to thoughts. A reaction is
    automatic and gives you no choice a response is
    a deliberate and considered action.

Breaking it Down
  • Non-judgementally The temptation is to judge
    experience as good or bad or like/dislike. I want
    to feel bliss I dont like to feel afraid.
    Letting go of judgements help you to see things
    as they are rather then through the filter of
    personal judgements based on previous
  • Openheartedly To be openhearted is to bring a
    kindness, compassion, warmth, and friendliness to
    your experience

Is mindfulness thinking about nothing?
  • NO! Mindfulness meditation is paying attention
    in a systemic way to whatever you decide to focus
    on, which can include awareness of your thoughts.
    By listening to your thoughts, you discover your
    habitual patterns. Your thoughts have a massive
    impact on your emotions and the decisions that
    you make so paying attention to them is helpful!

Do you meditate for the intent of relaxation?
The aim of mindfulness isnt to make you feel
more relaxed. Trying to relax only causes more
tension. Mindfulness is accepting your moment by
moment experience. So if you are tense,
mindfulness is being aware of that tension. Where
do you feel tense? Whats it shape, colour,
texture? Whats your reaction to this tension,
your thoughts. Doing this often leads to
relaxation but it is not the aim of the practise.
Informal vs Formal
  • Informal meditation is when you focus your mind
    to which ever activity you are doing during your
    day. This could include brushing your teeth,
    cooking, cleaning, etc.
  • Formal meditation is when you take time out of
    your day to complete a meditation practise. Some
    practises include the body scan, mindfulness of
    the breath, mindful yoga,etc.

What Can Mindfulness Do For You?
  • Help Battle Depression
  • Help Battle Anxiety
  • Reduce Stress Levels
  • Reduce Physical Pain
  • Improve Sleep
  • Increase Dopamine Levels in The Brain

How Does It Improve Mental Health?
  • It is the exact opposite of ruminative thinking
    (the tendency to dwell on the same thought or
    theme) which creates low moods to persist and
  • Teaches to attach labels to thoughts, to detach
    from emotions. You are experiencing an
    event/emotion you are not that event/emotion.
  • Teaches that thoughts are thoughts, not facts.
  • Teaches to just be aware instead of judging.
  • Teaches self compassion as well as compassion to
    experience and others.

Using Mindfulness To Help You
  • Automatic Pilot ? going to the grocery store but
    driving right by it, not remembering anything
    from a drive home, taking a walk in the park to
    relax but being consumed in thoughts of your next
  • Mindfulness isnt focused on finding solutions to
    problems. Its focused on acceptance. So if you
    suffer from anxiety, mindfulness shows you how to
    accept the feeling of anxiety rather than denying
    or fighting the feeling, and through this
    approach, change naturally comes about. As an old
    saying goes what we resist, persists.
    Mindfulness says what you accept, transforms.

How Does It Work?
  • Through mindfulness practise individuals strive
    to maintain attention to internal and external
    experiences in a non-judgemental state
    manifesting acceptance, curiosity and openness
  • Mindfulness heightens body awareness When an
    external stimulus triggers an emotional reaction,
    the attention system detects a conflict.
    Heightened body awareness helps to detect
    physiological aspects of the feelings present
    (e.g. body tension, rapid heartbeat, short
    shallow breath). This triggers the emotion
    regulation process to react to the stimulus
    differently than normal (ex just noticing it as
    opposed to reacting to it) Internal Barometer
  • Increased Dopamine Release Cognitive Brain
    Research Journal
  • Breaks harmful thinking patterns which lead to
    depression and other mental illnesses.

Mindfulness Increases Happiness The Proof
  • Jon Kabat Zinn of the U of M Medical School, and
    Richard Davidson, Professor of Psychology and
    Psychiatry of U of WM, and their colleagues have
    proved that mindfulness increases happiness.
  • The researchers randomly split a group of
    employees at a biotech company into two groups.
    The first group did an 8 week course in
    mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and the
    others did nothing. The electrical activity of
    their brains was studied before and after the
  • After 8 weeks, the people who did the mindfulness
    training had greater activation in a part of the
    brain called the left prefrontal cortex which is
    associated with emotions, wellbeing, and
    acceptance of experience. Left prefrontal and
    cortex activated people described themselves as
    interested, excited, strong, active, alert, and
    enthusiastic. In comparison, right prefrontal
    cortex activated people described themselves as
    afraid, nervous, scared, upset and distressed.
  • The experiment showed that just 8 weeks of
    mindfulness training in a busy work place
    environment can have positive effect on
    wellbeing. Other studies with more experienced
    meditaters suggest these changes in the brain
    become a permanent feature explaining the mild
    grin on the faces of experienced meditation
    practitioners. ?

Overcoming Challenges
  • Some issues can be the attitude going in to a
    meditation practise I am going to do this
    perfectly, I will try so hard, I should focus
    100 for best results.
  • Once meditation has started many have stated they
    have thoughts like I cant focus on all, I
    cant do it, that was a bad meditation.
  • Coping statements can include My mind is bound
    to wander, I will accept these feelings, it is
    what it is. Be gentle! Be kind! Just bring your
    attention back to its original destination.

Before we Begin...
  • REMEMBER You can not decide to focus and then
    come 100 focused without any issues. Meditation
    is a gym for the mind as a physical workout is a
    workout for the body. You can train your
    attention as you can train your biceps at the
    gym. However you do not have to make a huge
    effort as you do when working out. When training
    the mind to be attentive, you need to be gentle,
    or the mind becomes less attentive. This is why
    mindfulness requires a kindness about it. If your
    too harsh, your mind rebels.

What Types of Mindfulness Are There?
  • Mindful Breathing
  • Mindful Walking
  • Body Scan
  • Mindful Eating
  • Mindful Yoga

The 3 Minute Breathing Space
  • Use the three-minute breathing space in moments
    of stress, when you are troubled in thoughts or
    feelings. You can use it to step out of automatic
    pilot to reconnect with the present moment and
    your own inner wisdom.
  • 1 Acknowledging
  • Bring yourself into the present moment by
    deliberately adopting a dignified posture. Then
    ask Whats going on with me at this moment?
    What thoughts, feelings and body sensations am I
    experiencing right now?
  • You could put your inner experience into words,
    for example, say in your mind, A feeling of
    anger is arising or self-critical thoughts are
    here or my stomach is clenched and tense.
  • 2 Gathering
  • Gently bring your full attention to the
    breathing. Experience fully each in-breath and
    each out-breath as they follow one after the
    other. It may help to note at the back of your
    mind breathing inbreathing out, or to count
    the breaths. Let the breath function as an anchor
    to bring you into the present and to help you
    tune into a state of awareness and stillness.
  • 3 Expanding
  • Expand your awareness around the breathing to the
    whole body, and the space it takes up, as if your
    whole body is breathing. Especially take the
    breath to any discomfort, tension or resistance
    you experience, breathing in to the sensations.
    While breathing out, allow a sense of softening,
    opening, letting go. You can also say to yourself
    its ok to feel whatever Im feeling. Include a
    sense of the space around you too. Hold
    everything in awareness. As best you can, bring
    this expanded awareness into the next moments of
    your day.

Buddha Quote
  • the secret of health for the mind and body is
    not to mourn for the past, worry abut the future,
    or anticipate troubles, but to live in the
    present moment wisely and earnestly.

  • The Mindful Way Through Depression Mark
    Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon
  • Buddhas Brain the practical neurosceince of
    happiness, love wisdom by Rick Handon, Richard
  • Power over Panic Brownwyn Fox
  • Coming to Our Senses Jon Kabat Zinn
  • Mindfulness Ronald D. Siegel, Christopher K
    Germer, and Andrew Olendzki
  • Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging- Britta K.
    Holzel, James Carmody, Mark Vangel, Christina
    Congleton, Sita M. Yerramsetti, Tim Gard, Sara W.
  • Using Mindfulness Meditation to Teach Beginning
    Therapists Therapeutic Presence Eric E.
    McCollum, Diane R. Gehart
  • Mindfulness Meditation Training Changes Brain
    Structure in 8 weeks Science Daily (article)
    Amiishi Jha James Carmody
  • Mindfulness for Dummies Ahamash Alidina
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