“The heart goes where the head takes it, and neither cares much about the whereabouts of the feet”
~ Dr Daniel Gilbert (Harvard Psychologist)

The A, B, C of Mindfulness

A

Awareness

Increase your Awareness

Our attention gets hijacked by our wandering minds. Mindfulness turns down the volume knob of unnecessary thought. We can then tune into our sensory present moment. What we can see, hear, feel, touch and taste.

B

Being

Be with your Experience

See our thoughts and emotions ‘as they are’ rather than avoiding them or distracting ourselves from them. Learn that thoughts are mental events that come and go – we can choose whether to act on them or not.

C

Choice

Make Better Choices

Regardless of our mood, Mindfulness provides a window of opportunity to respond to people and events in a skillful and measured way, rather than reacting in a knee-jerk manner.

By learning Mindfulness, your day-to-day perspective changes from one that is weighed down with past baggage and future expectations, to one that is lighter and more rewarding.
We can choose to be fully immersed in the present moment and can engage with life productively with skill, optimism and clarity.

Mindfulness-Based Resilience training teaches you how to turn down the stressful ‘fight or flight’ hormones and instead activates the ‘rest and digest’ system. By learning how to relax this way, we are learning how to switch off our stress.

(Benson, H., Beary, J., & Carol, M. (1974). The relaxation response. Psychiatry. 19, 37. 37-45.6)

Research has uncovered that ‘divergent thinking’, the type of thinking that helps you generate new ideas, is promoted and increased in people that learn Mindfulness meditation.

(Colzato, L., Ozturk, A. & Hommel, B. (2012). Meditate to create: the impact of focused-attention and open-monitoring training on convergent and divergent thinking. Front. Psychology. 3, 116)

It takes just 11 hours of Mindfulness training to change the structure of the part of our brain responsible for monitoring our focus and control. Neuroscientists found people who practice mindfulness can focus on tasks for longer without getting distracted.

(Levy, D., Wobbrock, J., Kaszniak, A. & Ostergren, M. (2012). The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation Training on Multitasking in a High-Stress Information Environment. Proceedings of Graphics Interface. 45-52.)

Scientists studied people experiencing high levels of anxiety or depression in their lives. They found that that mindfulness techniques were extremely effective at reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

(Stefan G. Hofmann, Alice T. Sawyer, Ashley A. Witt, & Diana Oh. 2010. The Effect of Mindfulness-Based Therapy on Anxiety and Depression: A Meta-Analytic Review)

Learning Mindfulness improves our relationships with others. Research has shown that it increases our ability to identify and communicate our emotions and regulate the expression of anger. After learning mindfulness, we become more accepting and less judgmental of each other, as well as paying closer attention and demonstrating more empathy.
Dekeyser, M., Raes, F., Leijssen, M., Leysen, S. & Dewulf, D. (2008). Mindfulness skills and interpersonal behaviour. Personality and Individual Differences. 44, 5. 1235 – 1245.

A Quick Experiment

Before you scroll further down this page, close your eyes for a few moments and let your mind wander to wherever it wants to go.

Welcome back

Wherever your mind went — the park, work, your lunch, unpaid utility bills — research has shown that daydreaming is not likely to make you as happy as focusing intensely on your present moment will.

Unlike the rest of the animal kingdom, we spend a lot of time thinking about what isn’t going on around us.
47%

We spend 47% of our waking hours thinking about something other than what we’re doing

Our ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive ability that comes at a cost.

The Eastern Wisdom traditions teach that human wellbeing is to be found by living in the present moment, and practitioners are trained to resist mind wandering and learn to ‘be here now’. These traditions suggest that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind – and scientific research now suggests that these traditions are correct.

Research has shown that, in any given moment, our Mind wandering status has twice the impact on our happiness than the specific activity we are doing.

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