Mindfulness can generally be described as present- moment, non-judgmental awareness of thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. You may have heard of methods such as mindfulness based stress reduction. Mindfulness practice can help us develop concentration and focus, compassion and altruism, bolster our immune system, and even help us improve our relationships. All of these benefits and more happen because we are creating space between our experiences and our thoughts and feelings. In mindfulness practice, we take the time to notice what is happening at any given moment, which gives us a chance to unhook our unconscious patterns and ways of being and thinking and feeling in the world that may not serve our best interest any longer.
Mindfulness meditation, or working with mindful states, is especially effective in trauma treatment, or other states where the body and mind are overwhelmed. Mindfulness allows brain areas to activate that are associated with emotional regulation. When overwhelmed, the frontal cortex (the thinking part of the brain) shuts down and it is essentially impossible to think clearly, besides carry out complex tasks aligned with values or long-term interests. By practicing mindfulness, the likelihood of the frontal lobes turning off decreases while also making it easier to activate that brain area. That means it is easier to attend to the people, tasks, and issues you care about!
Why all the interest in mindfulness now? Research over the last several years has shown that regular mindfulness practice has substantial benefits in a variety of contexts from improving depression and anxiety, to reducing stress reactions, to helping people with ADHD improve functioning, and helping school children in impoverished environments improve their performance. Mindfulness has been used in educational, healthcare, and workplace settings to the benefit of students, teachers, doctors, patients, and workers!
I lead small group and individual mindfulness meditation practice at my office. I am also available to travel to your business or home to teach groups. Please contact me for more information.