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News Articles and Interviews from Centre for Mindfulness Ireland

Four ways to mindfully appreciate nature

Here are four ways you can mindfully appreciate nature:

Consider your own connection to nature
Foster greater awareness of your natural surroundings
Actively appreciate the good and growing things that surround us
Accept that better understanding can lead to a better change

There’s a considerable amount of pessimism surrounding our relationship to the planet and what we’ll have to do going forward to keep things on even keel. And new research suggests we tend to think we’re all doomed, even as we hope for a better personal future. So how can we put that personal optimism to work in addressing environmental problems? We think having a few mindfulness practices that foster a positive connection to nature—from leafy forests to office ferns—could help bring that personal optimism to a more public arena…Read more on Mindful.org

A mindfulness practice for stressed-out parents

ALL parents come up against significant surges of strong negative feelings and, unfortunately, many get mired in needless suffering as a result of what’s happening internally—how they’re reacting to these painful emotions. There are universal parental pains, tremors that shake us from diligent skillfulness and dip us into far reaches of emotional upheaval, top of the list being fears for our children; will they be hurt or unloved.

What parents need is help walking with, instead of struggling against, their pain, confusion, and doubt. Leave the rationales to sociological, political and even religious debates, because here we’re focusing on the nitty-gritty of making parenting not just a tolerable ordeal, but an opening, a doorway to the widest possible array of experience—the grandeur and the gore.

When pain, whether physical or emotional, shows up, it’s helpful to have built the capacity to mindfully notice it, allow it to just be there, and watch as it changes and typically eases on its own. It’s when you push and poke at it, trying to force pain to leave, that it often hangs around and grows into mind’s best bad-tempered friend, suffering… Read more from Mindful.org

One week of mindfulness meditation can help ease stress

Stress is often villainized but it is also inevitable, which means effectively coping with stress is our best defence. According to new research, mindfulness meditation-based interventions may help build long-lasting flexible coping skills that enable us to problem solve effectively in the face of stressful life events.

Researchers at Western Washington University conducted a study to see if mindfulness meditation could enhance coping flexibility, which they defined as the ability to pay attention to, and modify strategies for dealing with stress.

Although prior research has found that mindfulness meditation is linked to better coping flexibility, this is the first study showing that a one-week mindfulness intervention can improve coping and dispositional mindfulness and reduce perceived stress both immediately and two weeks later…  Read more from Mindful.org

A Meditation for Investigating Panic Attacks from Bob Stahl

A great many people who suffer with panic attacks experience feeling as though they are losing control and going crazy. Some people describe feeling a disconnect from reality that scares and confuses them. You may feel completely helpless, as though there is nothing you can do and no one can help you. You literally believe that a threat is present, likely, or imminent. It’s a frightening experience that is not soon forgotten. In fact, the fear alone that it may happen again is enough to start the cycle of panic and insecurity. If you’re feeling scared or insecure about a reoccurrence right now, you are not alone and there is help.

There’s no predicting when your next panic attack will occur. It might happen while you’re out running errands, interacting with strangers at the market or post office. Being in public may feel like the worst-case scenario for a panic attack, but it is also your cue to listen to your mind and body… Read more of this Bob Stahl article on Mindful.org

Can Mindfulness treat chronic back pain?

If you’ve ever had back pain, you know it’s one of the worst kinds of pain to have. Chronic low back pain affects millions globally and is often very hard to treat. In many cases, it can be debilitating. Pain drugs like opioids were cavalierly prescribed for back pain in the past, leading many down the difficult road of addiction and seeding an opioid overdose crisis in the US. Now, more and more physicians and patients are seeking alternative ways to manage and treat chronic pain.

A study at the University of Queensland in Australia may have found one solution – Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)…  read more from Mindful.org

Meditation is not all in your head

Meditation begins and ends in the body. It involves taking the time to pay attention to where we are and what’s going on, and that starts with being aware of our body. That very act can be calming, since our body has internal rhythms that help it relax if we give it a chance.

When we meditate it doesn’t help to fixate on the benefits, but rather to just do the practice, and yet there are benefits or no one would do it. When we’re mindful, we reduce stress, enhance performance, gain insight and awareness through observing our own mind, and increase our attention to others’ well-being.

Mindfulness meditation gives us a time in our lives when we can suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness—to ourselves and others… Read more in this article in Mindful.org

How Mindfulness can help with change

 

Changes and transitions, both wanted and unwanted, are a fact of life.

By choosing to pay attention to these experiences with curiosity, we begin to see these changes in a different light.

In this video, Dr. West talks about transition and change as a continuum and offers a simple mindfulness meditation exercise that highlights this ‘noticing’.

 

The Role of Mindfulness in Stressful Situations

 

 

 

When stress manifests itself, our body reacts in predictable ways.

In this video, Dr. Carolyn West, Senior MBSR Teacher, Center for Mindfulness US, explains these reactions in the context of her own experience and offers a simple mindfulness meditation exercise to restore clarity and balance.

 

How to have more empathy

 

 

What is the best way to be there for someone when they are hurting or experiencing challenging times? How can we comfort them and ease their pain and suffering?

In this beautiful short animated video, Dr Brené Brown teases apart the difference between empathy and sympathy and shows us how empathy fuels connection, while sympathy drives disconnection.

She also shares the attributes of empathy and reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are courageous enough to truly get in touch with our own fragilities... Learn the four attributes of empathy here

Centre for Mindfulness Ireland You Tube Channel

Have you subscribed to the new Centre for Mindfulness Ireland You Tube Channel yet?

On this dedicated site we have talks from Saki Santorelli, Florence Meleo-Meyer and Judson Brewer and will continue to add more videos of interesting and helpful information from top CFM trainers. We also have meditation talks from Anne Twohig, founder of Centre for Mindfulness Ireland. Why not head over to take a look? The talk by Florence will be particularly interesting for those joining us on the Mindfulness Tools course in the autumn … You Tube