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News Articles and Interviews from Centre for Mindfulness Ireland

Slow down and listen mindfully

Pain and suffering may often seem to be calling us to jump in and fix things, but perhaps they are asking us first to be still enough to hear what can really help, what can truly get to the cause of this suffering, what will not only eliminate it now but prevent it from returning. So, before we act, we need to listen. When we do become quiet enough and “listen up,” the way opens, and we see the possibilities for action.

We give very little attention to learning to listen, learning to really hear another person or situation. Yet think back to the moments with other people when our hearts were engaged and we felt fed by being together. In those moments, weren’t we hearing one another? In times like those, when we have listened to and heard one another, we have felt life arising from a shared perspective.

When we begin to act by listening, the rest follows naturally. It’s not so easy, of course—it requires us to give up preconceived ideas, judgments, and desires in order to allow space to hear what is being said. True listening requires a deep respect and a genuine curiosity about situations as well as a willingness just to be there and share stories. Listening opens the space, allows us to hear what needs to be done in that moment. It also allows us to hear when it is better not to act, which is sometimes a hard message to receive… Read more in this article in 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

Put Mindfulness and Compassion into action

Practitioners of mindfulness try “to do no harm” to themselves and others. However, we need to move beyond this and our self-interest so as not to become completely immersed in how to only reduce personal suffering, turning ever inward. Dangerously, we imagine that if I alone am happier everyone else will be happier too. 

If we wish to bring change to ourselves, others, and the world, we need to put both mindfulness and compassion into action — neither mindfulness nor self-compassion alone will suffice. We must change our behaviour, take less, and give more.

Mindfulness is about remembrance. If you can remember we are all connected your capacity for compassion will grow. The mindfulness movement needs a reset. If our goal is to be a mindfulness community then there is a need for a little less me and a little more we… Read more from Mindful.org

Mindfulness can improve strategic thinking

Mindfulness meditation—the practice of cultivating deliberate focused attention on the present momenthas caught on as a way to bring focus, authenticity, and intention to the practice of leadership. Daniel Goleman and Bill George have described mindfulness as a means to listen more deeply and guide actions through clear intention rather than emotional whims or reactive patterns.

In an age in which corporations and public organizations are increasingly under attack for short-term thinking, a dearth of vision, and perfunctory reactions to quick stimuli, it’s worth posing the question: Can mindfulness help organizations—not just individual leaders—behave more intentionally? Practically speaking, can organizational leaders integrate mindfulness practices into strategic planning processes? Read more from Mindful.org

Mindfulness can encourage smoother communication with your teenager

When the teenager in your life is angry at you, it may seem like the last thing they want to do is talk. But the truth is, your teen is sending you messages with their behaviour—especially their most off-putting, anger-laden actions. The key is whether you are willing to respond to the real message behind their anger.

For most teens, anger wells up when they feel they’re not getting respect, space, validation and provisions. When these factors are (from the teen’s perspective) being “denied” them, particularly by you, anger can follow.

Try to pause, take a breath, and connect with what’s actually behind your child’s angry actions. Try acknowledging that you understand that something real (for them) is driving how they feel. You can still set limits on their disrespect or lashing out… Read more from Mindful.org

Can mindfulness relieve post traumatic stress?

Recent research has found that mindfulness-based programs such as Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) may provide relief from post-traumatic symptoms such as anxiety, sleep disturbance, and difficulty concentrating.

Historically, cognitive forms of psychotherapy with or without medication was the first line of treatment for PTSD. But many with PTSD avoid therapy due to social stigma, cost, guilt, shame, or an inability to seek help. In response to the need for alternative forms of treatment, more providers and trauma sufferers are turning to mindfulness-based interventions.

There is some debate among professionals as to whether mindfulness-based interventions for PTSD are effective. Some suggest that an increase in mindfulness may help individuals to better cope with intrusive thoughts and memories, and be more equipped to handle emotional distress. Others suggest that mindfulness-based practices like meditation may cause considerable distress for some practitioners…  read more from 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