News Articles and Interviews from Centre for Mindfulness Ireland
Mindfulness can improve work challenges
Mindfulness can easily be thought of as a retreat from the outsized challenges leaders often face. But when things get tough, that’s when your mindfulness practice actually shines. Take the time to ask yourself if what’s actually happening can make or break your work day.
How mindfulness can help with indecision
We all make bad decisions from time to time—mindfulness can help turn moments of indecision into moments of clarity. Braincraft host, Vanessa Hill, dips into psychology research to highlight the factors that impact our choices. Here are three reasons we make the wrong decisions, and the solutions to take your decision-making confidence to the next level:
1. You choose something you’ve already invested in, even if it’s not the best option – “We like to think that we always make rational decisions, but science shows that’s not always the case,”
2. You get caught up in your emotions – Another way that mindfulness might help you is in being more aware of the feelings influencing your decisions, since emotions like anger, fear, and sadness “can cloud our judgment without us even realizing it.”
3. You just need a good night’s sleep – It turns out, there really is a reason why your parents always told you to sleep on your decisions. People tend to make more accurate decisions in the morning, perhaps because they also made them more slowly. Later in the day, we seem to discern more quickly, but less accurately… read more from Mindful.org
Mindfulness boosts emotional well-being in teens
In recent years, mindfulness education has become a mainstay in many schools. However, we know little about how it affects students’ developing brains or their academic performance.
Two new studies from Yale and Harvard Universities and MIT shed some light on the question, finding that mindfulness may reduce emotional reactivity in the brain as well as improving mental health and academic success for middle-school students.
In the first study of its kind, MIT researchers showed that mindfulness training may alter brain functioning linked to emotional processing in sixth-grade students. Published in Behavioral Neuroscience, the study included a subset of about 40 middle schoolers who participated in a trial comparing the effects of eight weeks of either daily mindfulness training or “coding” instruction.
In the second study, published in Mind, Brain, and Education, researchers administered a mindfulness questionnaire to a diverse sample of over 2,300 fifth- to eighth-grade students, enrolled in charter schools in Boston. They then correlated these ratings with students’ academic records…Read more on Mindful.org
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
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