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Mindfulness
7
Howcanenjoyeachthing I need to dorather than get so stressed about having so much to do?Does mindfulness mean living in the moment, and if so, howcan I plan for the future and accomplish my goals?How does mindfulness relate to meditation?Does mindfulnesslead tolivingrecklessly?
Key Questions
Explainthe relationship between mindfulness andrealityDistinguishbetween mindfulness andmindlessnessListthe qualities ofmindfulnessExplainthe benefits ofmindfulnessExperiencemindfulness as a tool to unclutter the mind and bring about mentaltranquility
Objectives
Reality is what is, or what is happeningUnreality is what is not (happening), or an illusionWe find reality through:Our sensesWhat is happening internally
The Nature of Reality
Every moment of our lives, we arehereandnowLife is successivepresent moments of here-and-now experiences
The Here and Now
Commonlydefined as the state of being attentive to and aware of what is taking place in thepresentThe present moment has no stressBasedonvipassana, anancient contemplativetraditionMindlessnessoccurs when our thoughts are not in the present moment and when we tune out what is happening
What is Mindfulness?
Beginner’s mind:thinking likeachildInvolvesseeing things “as if for the firsttime”Non-judgingRepresentsstraightforwardobservationsDetachedobservation: simply staying in an observational state of mind without judgment orexpectations
Qualities of Mindfulness
Mindfulnessself-efficacyHowconfident are youin yourability to maintainnon-judgmental awareness?Acceptance of what is happeningHolisticandunconditionalNon-attachmentNon-identificationwith the object ofattentionNon-strivingGivingup our need to try to change anything
Qualities ofMindfulness (cont’d.)
People’s minds wanderabout 47% of thetimeResearch shows people don’t merely fantasize when they are unhappyWanderingmindsleadtounhappinessIfyou want to stay cheerful, you’re better off focusing on the present, no matter how unpleasant it is
Research Highlight:Daydreaming – Is It Good for You?
Asa function of culture and shared expectations, we move through transitionsInfants: thepurest form ofbeingAdolescence: atransition toadulthood, from the joyfulness of play to a preference for doing overbeingAdulthood: an even greateremphasis on doing overbeingElderhood:brings us full circle to a life that favors being over doing
Culture Connection: A Culture of Doing
Beingpresent in all of one’s activities andinteractionsWhen we livemindfully, webecome more effective and productive
Mindfulness as a Way of Being
As thoughtsaccumulate, our minds getclutteredThe resultis sensory overload
Why Be Mindful?
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) may be effective for:Generalstress reduction with nonclinical populationsManagingstress and mood disorders in patients with cancer
Benefits of Mindfulness
Participatorywellness program based on mindfulmeditationLearn how to work with aspects ofawarenessDecreasesa wide range of physical and psychological symptoms andincreasesclients’well-beingImprovesphysical, emotional, social, and mental health
FYI: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Eight-weekmindfulness-based stress-reduction course on stress andempathy for nursing studentsIntendedto provide students with tools to cope with personal and professional stress and to fosterempathyParticipation significantly reduced anxietyBeing mindfulmay reduce anxiety and decrease tendencies to take on others’ negative emotions
Research Highlight: Does Mindfulness Decrease Stress?
Sit at a desk or table with a pen and piece ofpaperPlaceyour non-dominant handwhereyou can easily see it, and write down everything you notice about yourhand using all of your sensesContinuedoing this for several minutesWhen you think you haveobserved everything,stop and observe again with all of your senses, and continue writing
Experiencing Mindfulness:Testingthe Principle
This simple activity demonstrates a powerful principle:Whenwe focus our attention on what is happening, when we keep our awareness on the here and now,we take part in an experiencewithout stress
Experiencing Mindfulness:What Did We Learn?
Focusesthe mind internally rather than externallythroughthe fivesensesEncouragesnon-judgmental observation of thoughts and images for heightenedawareness
Inner Mindfulness Meditation
Focusingon being present in themoment makes study time more effective
Time Tip: Effective Studying
With eyesclosed, take a moment to tune in to yourthoughtsAllowyourself to non-judgmentally watch your thoughts as they seem to come andgoAsyou keep your eyes closed, separate your awareness from the many thoughts that pop in and then leave yourmindContinue to watch your thoughts passively as if you were pulling up a chair and sitting next to your thoughts
Inner Mindfulness Meditation
Choosean activity that you do in a less than mindful way, and focus on involving yourself completely in theexperiencePayattention to things that are happening aroundyouRatherthan thinking about so many things, try simply observing all that is showing up for you in yourexperience
Practice Being More Mindful –Focus
Consciouslyspeak to yourself, saying something like:Inthismoment,I allow myself to be herenow;I cannot be anywhere else right now, nor can I be in my past or future, so I choose to relaxandenjoy what is happening, here andnowTake “mindfulness breaks” in which you do nothing but engage yourself in a certain place and time
Practice Being More Mindful –Accept and Enjoy
If you find yourself in a setting that is mundane or always the same, take time to rearrange thingsTrya new sport orhobbyTotallyengage yourself in learning a newskillChangeyour normal routinesslightly
Practice Being More Mindful – Rearrange
Whenyou are involved in, or notice others engaging in, situations with heightened emotion, step back and simply become an observer rather than becoming emotionally involved in the incident
Practice Being More Mindful – Observe
Living mindfully does not mean that you ignore planning for the future or setting goals for what you want toaccomplishInstead, think of it as a visionaryprocess that constructively focuses on the future in this presentmomentWorryingabout a future event and directing our attention to the potentially painful outcomes ofthat eventis not productive
Planning for the Future
Two stages of mindfulnessSelf-regulatingone’s attentiononimmediateexperienceAdoptinga certain orientation toward one’s experiences in the present moment, an orientation characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance
Putting It All Together
Mindfulness is essential to management of stressAbilityto fully experience and appreciate the moment is elusive formanyTo be at peace with yourself, learn to replace thoughts that produce unhealthy emotions such as guilt, worry, fear, andangerwith a mental focus on the present
Conclusion
Go somewhere completely by yourself with a pad of paper and pen or pencilAt the top of the page, write “I am noticing”For an hour, finish the sentence over and over based on what your senses bring toyouWhen you are finished, summarize your experiences
Lab 7-1: Full Mindfulness Activity

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Cell Physiology - Web services at PCC