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Mindfulness: Self-Reflection and Self-Awareness.
Transcript of Mindfulness: Self-Reflection and Self-Awareness.
Mindfulness and Emotional Regulation
Mindfulness is associated with increased well-being and reduced stress.
A person influnces which emotions they have, when they have them, and how they experience and express them (Gross 1998).
Bringing unconcious/automatic thoughts to the concious mind and controlling them.
Identifying and challenging negative thnking through the use of tools such as thought records and core belief work
encourages behavioral change by using coping skills
Promotes changing the relationship to thoughts and feelings instead changing the actual thought.
It emphasizes developing a greater awareness and acceptance of emotional experiences.
Focuses on the changes of emotions and experiences and that they are not permanent.
Formal Mindfulness Practices
Ways to incorportate Mindfulness.
Meditation & Mindfulness
Requires effort and discipline for the simple reason that the forces that work agains our being mindful, namely or habitual unawarenss and automaticity, are exceedingly tneactious.
Make a little time in your life for stillness and what we call non-doing, and then tune in to your beating.
One barrier to mindfulness and meditation is labeling. It doesn't take long in mediation to discover that part of our mind is constantly evaluating our experiences, comparing them with other experiences or holding them up against expectations and standards that we create. We tend to see things through tinted glasses: through the lens of whether something is good or bad.
Characteristics of Mindfulness
Associated with enhanced emotional recovery.
Reduced negative emotional responses.
Enhanced positive emotional responses.
Reduce behavioral avoidance.
Mindfulness-based treatments lead to decreases in emotion regulation difficulties.
We try to stick each perception, every mental change in the endless flow, into one of three mental boxes.
Positive feelings and experiences
freeze time,grab onto that particular thought, hold it, keep it from escaping, effort to repeat the experiences
omething we perceive as "bad"
push it away, deny it, reject it, get rid of it., fight against our own experience.
expeirences that are neighter good nor bad, neutral, uninteresting.
ignore it, return our attention to good/bad thoughts
A mirror thought- It reflects only what is presently happening and exactly how it is happening
Nonjudmental observation without criticism
Not clinging to the good or fleeing from the bad.
Bare attention, not thinking
Registering experinces but not comparing them
Present moment awareness
Not referencing self or using words like "me," "my," or "mine."
Awareness of change.
Mindfulness & Emotions
To learn emotional regulation through mindfulness we must accept all of our feelings without judgment. No feelings are good or bad. Our thoughts and feelings do not define us so we must avoid labeling and owning our thoughts and feelings as they pass through.
"Wherever you go, there you are. Whatever you wind up doing, that's what you've wound up doing. Whatever you are thinking right now, that's what's on your mind. Whatever has happened to you, has already happened." The question then becomes, "Now what?" -Jon Kabat-Zinn
Three Fundamental Activities
Mindfulness reminds you of what you are supposed to be doing.
Mindfulness sees things as they really are.
Mindfulness sees the true nature of phenomena.
In meditation you put your attention on one item. When your mind wanders, it is mindfulness that reminds you that your mind is wandering.
Mindfulness is not thinking.
When mindfulness is present you will notice when you become stuck in your thought patterns.
It is noticing that allows you to back out of the thought process and free yourself.
Mindfulness adds nothing to perception and it subtracts nothing.
It distorts nothing
Concious thought pastes things over our experince.
You just notice exactly what arises in the mind then notice the next thing.
All things are in transition.
Every thing in the end is unsatisfying (because it ends).
Nothing is unchanging or permant, only processes.
Stopping and being present in the moment.
Using a focus to calm the mind.
Mental training that will teach you to experience the world in an entirley new way.
A way to teach how to detach thoughts from our views and feelings.
Meditation IS NOT
Just a relaxation technique.
Going into a trance
A mysterious practice that cannot be understood
Running away from reality
An immediate cure
Meditation and mindfulness compliment each other and overlap each other in many ways. Each is meant to alter the relationship between thoughts and feelings and make us more aware of change as a central part of our lives.
"Everything changes. Nothing remains without change."- The Buddha
Impermanence is the fundamental law of our existence. This is the only thing that is certain in this life: everything changes. Change is actually the reason why anything can happen.
Anything that you are going through at this moment in your life will pass. Everything that you acquire, everything that you experience - will pass. Time eats up everything
Spend some time contemplating the impermanence of everything in your life, including your own body. Learn to accept it deeply in your heart. This will help you focus on what is really important, and see a more fulfilling life unfold.
In order to observe our fear we must accept the fact that we are afraid
To examine our depression we must accept it fully.
The same is true for irritation, agitation, frustration and all the uncomfortable feelings.
Increasing mindfulness supports many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life.
Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and helps you to cope with unpleasant events.
By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.
Focusing on the Breath
Focusing on Body Sensations
Practices of living in the moment of routine activities.
Shift focus: open moitoring of thoughts, feelings, sensations and not the quality, notice only the changes.
Using the Breath
Your breath is always there, right under you nose.
Just tune in to the feeling of it, coming in and out of your body
Don't overthink it just use bare attention and awareness.
Pay attention to the fact that you are breathing in this moment.
You Can't Stop the Waves but You Can Learn to Surf
One way to envision how mindfulness works is to think of your mind as the surface of a lake or the ocean.
There are always waves on the water, sometimes small, and sometimes they big are powerful.
Meditation is not a way to manipulate or magically shut off the waves.
It is posilbe through meditation to find shelter from the wind that agitates the mind.
Meditation is about knowing how to work with it.
What's so special about sitting? It's just one convenient way our bodies take a load off our feet. But sitting is special when it comes to meditation.
Sit in an upright, dignified, posture
Once you are sitting there are many ways to approach the present moment. All involve paying attention, on purpose, non-judgmentally.
It is best to keep things simple and start with your breath.
You can also use an anchor.
Start wih five minutes.
Some people found sitting meditation to be difficult but can get deeply into meditation practice though walking.
You are not walking to get any place.
Usually it's just back and forth or in a loop.
Take each step as it comes and be fully present with it.
Pay attention to the sensations.
Lying down is a wonderful way to mediate if you can manage not to fall asleep.
Lying down can allow you to let you whole body go. Letting go of your muscles.
You can use your body as the object of your attention, feeling the body from head to toe and paying attention to your breath.
Use the body scan technique: a systematic way of moving through portions of your body, feeling and then letting go.
We can focus on our emotional selves by focusing on the "heart" and any heaviness, constriction in the chest or tightness.
Standing meditation is best learned from trees. Stand close to one, or better, in a stand of trees.
Peer out in one direction
Feel your feet developing roots into the ground
Feel your body sway gently.
Stay in touch with your breath and take in what is in front of you or keep your eyes closed.
For more: http://www.freemindfulness.org/
Sources: Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
Emotional Regulation and Psychopathology: A Transdiagnostic Approach to Etiology and Treatment Edited By Ann M. Kring and Denise M. Soan.
Think about a time that you had a negative feeling.
What was the negative thought that caused it?
Would it have been possible to not label the thought and just accept it?
Does labling change the event that triggered the feeling?
Let's stop for two minutes and become aware of the changes that are occuring in front of us.
The change in our breath
The change in sensations
The change in our surroundings
Did any feelings come up while experiencing these changes?
Let's practice mindfulness again for two minutes. Remember to use what is happening as a mirror reflection. Do not add or take away from the moment. Separate your feelings from what is happening.
How many things did you notice that you would not have normally paid attention to?
Take two minutes to exercise mindfulness and notice how becoming aware of distractions is being mindful.
Look out the window. How does your concious mind add to or subtract from what is happening?
Think about a daily routine you have. How does it change each day?
Think about your last interaction with someone. What box would you put it in? Does it change anything that happened by labeling it?
TRY: Staying with one full inbreath as it comes in, one full outbreath as it goes out, keeping your mind open and free just for this moment, just this breath. Abandon all ideas of getting somewhere or having anything happen. Just keep returning to this breath when the mind wanders, string moments of mindfulness together, breath by breath.
Before we begin, please write a sentence or two about what mindfulness means to you. There is no right or wrong answer. Mindfulness has a broad definition.
Please give a sentence or two about what mindfulness means to you now.
TRY: Picture a lake, a body of water where water is held in a contained location. The lake can be deep or shallow, blue or green, muddy or clear. With no wind the surface of the lake is flat. Mirrorlike, it reflects its surroundings. Winds stir up waves on the lake, from ripples to chop. Other changes happen when it is sunny or dark, cold or warm, etc.
Use this image to imagine your body and mind as the lake. Pay attention to the changes. Experience the moments of complete stillness when both reflection and water are completely clear, and other moments when the surface is choppy, stirred up, reflections and depth are lost for a time. Notice the changes and know that they are temporary.
Source Jon Kabat-Zinn