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Intro to Mindfulness

Malory Kosher

on 16 September 2012

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Transcript of Mindfulness

Mindfulness ... small Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain. Mindlessness Auto Pilot Pleasure Principle What really matters?
-Think of a moment you really valued or enjoyed
-Write down what was happening during this time
-What was your mind doing at this moment?
*Past, future, moment-to-moment What is the leading cause of emergency room visits to hospitals in Manhattan on Sunday Mornings? Can you think of examples?
-In your life?
-On TV WHY? 1) Categorical thinking: putting everything into groups, can cause stereotypes or snap judgements

2) "Zoning out," "not thinking," or "not paying attention": not really paying attention to what is going on

3) Performing routine tasks automatically: doing tasks without really thinking about them. Susie's Story
Susie always looked forward to christmas. It was the one time of the year that everyone would be together, and she wanted it to be perfect. She started preparing right afer thansgiving- buying presents, decorating the house and planning menus.
But this year when christams came she felt unsettled. The house wasn't totally ready, and she still didn't have a great present for her daughter. When everyone arrived, she felt distracted. She wanted to enjoy her family's company but couldn't quite relax-she kept thinking of what she still needed to do and what wasn't quite right.
When it was all over and everyone had left, Susie felt like a failure. She had been so concerned about things turning out well that she hand't really enjoyed being with her family. Based off of this story what do you think the pleasure principle is? Rushing through chores to get to a book, tv, or video games
Checking the clock at school wanting it to go faster
Counting down the days until the day off of school A rich-looking man rings your doorbell late one night, says he's on a scavenger hunt and desperately needs to find a 3'x7' piece of wood. He'll give you $10,000 to help him find one. You think of a lumber yard, although you have no clue where one is and figure that nothing would be open at this hour, anyway. So you turn him down. It doesn't occur to you that the door you just opened is a 3'x7' piece o wood, because you think of it as a category called "door," not "wood." Many people live this way until something life threatening comes around....they then try "LIVING" life Start living yours now...
Create a list of 50 things you would like to do in your life! MINDLESSNESS INVENTORY TIME! What is mindfulness
NOT recalling but remembering to be aware and pay attention How can we remember this? Acceptance allows us to:
be open to both pleasure and pain
embrace winning and losing
be compassionate with ourselves and others
embrace our ever changing life SHARE TOP 50!! Example: Acceptance adds warmth, friendliness and compassion to the attitude Having an accepting attitude is the most challenging part of mindfulness It allows us to work effectively with fear, worry, sadness, depression, physical pain, addictions and relationship difficulties. What mindfulness is not
-having a blank mind
-not becoming emotionless
-not withdrawing from life
-not seeking bliss
-Not escaping pain
-not converting to a new religion What does it do for us?
-helps us see and accept things as they are. At peace with the inevitability of change and the impossibility of always winning.
-let go of our struggle to control life
-less easily thrown by life’s daily ups and downs. Discuss your graph
-good things high point, bad things low point
-how did these things affect your day
-how did you respond to these tasks
-how can mindfulness help these ups and downs based on what we just learned Effects on the Brain Effects on Thoughts/Feelings Diver Dan Approach The joys of distraction Study
Two Groups
One group was taught mindfulness 3 hrs per week
Other group had no intervention or training(control) Results
Meditating group now had more left-sided activiation than the non meditations
Stated their moods improved and they felt more engaged in the activities
Also found their immune response became stronger (their bodies created more desired antibodies)
Tested it with the influenza vaccine. The physical structure of the brain changes
another study
one group averaged 9 yrs of meditating about 6 hours a week
Other group people similar age who did not meditate FINDINGS
Meditators had thicker cerebral cortexes
this area involves paying attention to sensory stimuli, working memory- holding thoughts in our head long enough to reflect on them, make decisions and solve problems.
People who practiced meditation longer
Also found changes in the brain stem involved in the production of serotonin a mood-regulating transmitter
This area became denser in just 8 weeks We become hooked on one activity because it helps distract us from unpleasnat thoughts or feelings What is the most popular leisure activity in america? Like a drug we become tolerant of our distractions, so we need more and more We multitask to avoid being with our thoughts and feelings "sometimes we describe unwanted feelings as 'boredom'"
Boredom often invovles some restlessness, irritation, anxiety, sadness or other unwanted emotions
The things we do are desinged to distract us from those unwanted feelings Experiential Avoidance Try to avoid the things that cause us discomfort
The things we do to get away from pain Becomes a dreaded cycle:
EX: the guy who is afraid to fly takes the train, it only allows him to be more fearful to fly the next time

EX: shy guy who stays home because he doesn't want to be awkward at the party only ends up staying home more often and feeling alone In mindfulness we change our relationship to difficult experiences- instead of trying to avoid or escape we move toward them. Then, over time they become easier to deal with TYPES OF PRACTICE
remind ourselves throughout the day to pay attention to whatever is happening in the moment.
examples: noticing sentsations when we walk, notice the taste of our food when we eat, noticing clouds and trees as we pass them
intended to counter act multitasking and doing things on automatic pilot FORMAL
setting aside time to go to the mental "gym"
dedicate a period of time to meditation
practice "being aware of our present experience with acceptance
four postures: sitting, standing, walking & lying down RETREAT
vacation entirely dedicated to cultivating mindfulness
silent- little interactions with others
all parts of the day are opportunities to practice mindfulness Walking Meditation
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