Tag Archives: mindfulness

More Mindfulness

More help via mindfulness, this time for elementary school kids in Watts:

Mindfulness has been found beneficial for stress reduction, anxiety and depression, dietary challenges, addiction recovery, and many other conditions. Now it has found its way into a classroom where children as young as three are using its techniques to manage emotions and stay calm.

Using a strategy called Calm Classroom, Los Angles students, ranging from transitional kindergartners to fifth graders, are being guided by teachers three times during the school day through three-minute mindfulness exercises. The drills call on students to refocus their attention on deep breathing, relaxation, and body awareness.

Haven’t tried it? For some free, short, guided meditations, check out UCLA’S Mindful Awareness Research Center.

ACT Anxiety and Depression Workbooks

From the Recommended Reading page, a couple of titles worth highlighting:  The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety and  The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Depression, a matching pair of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) workbooks.

Instead of trying to take on and eliminate difficult thoughts and feelings, ACT encourages accepting them and getting on with what’s most important to you.  Identifying what’s most important to you is a big component of the approach.

For a reading-free sample of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, try one of the audio exercises linked here.  A whole sidebar full of free ACT audio and worksheets awaits at Live Mindfully.

West Meets East

Ronald Siegel wrote this long article about mindfulness and psychotherapy for the clinician-readers of Psychotherapy Networker.  Doesn’t mean you can’t give it a look.  A sample:

[M]indfulness is the opposite of experiential avoidance…It allows us to feel the urge to have an alcohol drink arise and pass rather than heading to the bottle, to get on the airplane and feel the fear rather than stay grounded, to be with the tight muscles and violent imagery of anger rather than shut down in depression, and to feel hurt rather than escape into delusion…[M]indfulness practices can help us loosen our preoccupation with ourselves.

Guided Meditations

Another source of free guided mindfulness meditations emerges:  Spotify.  Here are a few collections that showed up in a search there. Plenty more where these came from. Enjoy.

Judith Day – Introduction To Mindfulness Meditation

Jon Kabat-Zinn – Mindfulness Meditation For Pain Relief

Richard K. Nongard – Mindfulness Meditation Techniques: Guided Meditations to Help You Master Mindfulness

Elisha Goldstein Ph.D. – Mindful Solutions For Stress, Anxiety, And Depression

Jack Kornfield – Guided Meditations For Difficult Times

Peace is Every Step

From the recommended reading list, Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh, a short, simple call to mindfulness, personal and political.  In the book, some nice suggestions about mindfulness practice, including these lines to silently try out during mindfulness meditation:

Breathing in, I calm my body.

Breathing out, I smile.

Worth a shot for the many who find themselves distracted when attempting silent focus on breathing.  There’s also this suggestion for developing mindfulness regarding uncomfortable emotion (in this case anger):

Breathing in, I know that anger is here.

Breathing out, I know that the anger is me.

Breathing in, I know that anger is unpleasant.

Breathing out, I know this feeling will pass.

Breathing in, I am calm.

Breathing out, I am strong enough to take care of this anger.

Substitute “anxiety” or “sadness” or whatever you’re going through for “anger.”  Too much to remember?  Just try “Breathing in, I am _________.  Breathing out, I am ___________.” You may find just slowing down and acknowledging what you’re feeling (and not wanting to feel) helps more than any distraction.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s mindfulness is Buddhist mindfulness–for a secularized (and, for better or worse, less eco/non-violence-focused) substitute, try Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are.

Breathing in, you’re done reading this post.

Meditation Brain

A study looks at the different brain waves associated with three different types of meditation.

Focused attention, characterized by beta/gamma activity, included meditations from Tibetan Buddhist (loving kindness and compassion), Buddhist (Zen and Diamond Way), and Chinese (Qigong) traditions.

Open monitoring, characterized by theta activity, included meditations from Buddhist (Mindfulness, and ZaZen), Chinese (Qigong), and Vedic (Sahaja Yoga) traditions.

Automatic self-transcending, characterized by alpha1 activity, included meditations from Vedic (Transcendental Meditation) and Chinese (Qigong) traditions.