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News Articles and Interviews from Centre for Mindfulness Ireland

Turn Negative Emotions into a Source of Strength

If there’s anything we’re assured of in life besides death and taxes, it’s stress and pain. While that may seem like a doomsday statement, if you look at it again, it’s actually quite freeing—if you know stress and pain are inevitable, then you can learn how to be grateful for the good when it’s here, and be graceful when the stress and pain arrives.

Life is so precious. How can we get better at setting aside the trivial mind traps that keep us stuck and drag us down into states of anxiety and depression?

There are moments in life that are hard. What would it be like to acknowledge that and turn a caring attention toward ourselves in an effort to approach the wounded part of ourselves rather than avoiding? Read more in Mindful.org

Practicing self-compassion can boost your mental health

New research looks into how mindfulness and compassion-focused therapy can help treat depression, anxiety and stress. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) are two of the most widely used clinical approaches for treating depression, anxiety, and stress. The first, MBCT, is based on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and includes meditation, breath work, yoga, body scans, and practices to explore thoughts and increase mindfulness. On the other hand, CFT focuses on building compassion by incorporating practices for compassion and self-compassion, along with mindfulness exercises. 

Since both therapies are widely used, researchers wanted to learn whether CFT’s explicit instruction in compassion and self-compassion might yield different results for people experiencing depression, anxiety and stress compared to a mindfulness-based approach alone—although the researchers noted that nonjudgmental acceptance, which is part of the most widely-adopted definition of mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn, “can be taken as indicating that compassion toward self and others and mindfulness are intrinsically linked.” Read more from Mindful.org

Care for yourself while caring for others

Caregivers seek ways to stay alive, and self-care is the usual recommendation. But all too often our first impulse is to control our painful feelings, which can sidetrack self-care and make a hard job harder. It’s like scratching the itch of poison ivy, which can transform an irritation into a nasty wound. Similarly, we get hooked on self-defeating habits, which can transform stress into burnout. Surprisingly, our biggest threat isn’t the constant stress, but rather the burnout we can inadvertently manufacture ourselves. 

Three common self-defeating habits mindfulness practice can help overcome are resisting painful emotions, brooding and scolding ourselves.

The challenge for caregivers, is learning new habits aimed at making a hard job easier, not harder. Here are three common self-defeating habits, and healthy antidotes that address situation-made stress, dodge self-made burnout, and open the door to genuine self-care. Read more from Mindful.org

Notice the positive: A meditation guide for kids

One way our brain keeps us safe is by staying very focused on whatever seems wrong or off or dangerous. Sometimes, it’s important to notice that kind of thing: Take care of yourself or find someone you trust to help.

Other times, what happens instead is that we can’t stop thinking about something we don’t like. You may feel stressed by a test, or a friend, or your parents. It can be hard to let go of that kind of thought.  Sometimes, it takes practice to focus on the good stuff, too.

Kids and teens can explore this eight-minute guided meditation from Mindful.org, for noticing the positive…. Read more from Mindful.org

Obstacles to your mindfulness practice

Many media outlets have been talking for a number of years now about how ubiquitous mindfulness is and the impact it’s having in a variety of sectors. But the actual formal practice of mindfulness meditation can be a hard habit to establish. If you want to establish a practice you have to look directly at what’s getting in the way, and allow those obstacles to be your greatest teachers.

Five common obstacles to meditation are: – Doubt, Restlessness, Irritation, Sleepiness and Wanting. Read about these obstacles and how to overcome them in this Mindfulness.org article…   read more from Mindful.org

Three emerging insights about happiness

There were several insights presented at the International  Positive Psychology Association’s 6th World Congress in Melbourne, Australia that stood out as new or surprising. Here are some of the emerging pathways to well-being that positive psychology is just beginning to explore, and the exciting potential they might hold. 

Positive Solitude – Researchers have repeatedly found that social connection is one of the keys to happiness. And for many of us, feeling separated from other people translates into a sense of loneliness and disconnection. But does solitude have to be a negative experience? Can time alone feed our well-being? 

Feeling Active – One of the traditional surveys that researchers use to measure positive emotions includes a peculiar statement: “I feel active.” For researcher Sarah Pressman, that didn’t quite seem like a positive emotion—not the way other feelings like “grateful” or “happy” are—so she decided to investigate it further.

Future-mindedness – As we pursue happiness, we often ponder the future—and the kinds of things that will make us feel good tomorrow or next year. Even though our predictions aren’t always accurate, the simple act of contemplating the future might be a key to well-being…Read more on 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