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Mindfulness PTF Presentation

Presented February 27, 2014

Elizabeth Cappelletti

on 27 February 2014

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Transcript of Mindfulness PTF Presentation

"Being in the here and now present moment."
in Schools
Our hurried, harried lives can make us sick. By changing the way we think, we can take our brains in a different direction.
- Alice Park
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Being Mindful
What is mindfulness?
How Do You Become Mindful?
Difference Between Mindful and Mindfulness
Intrinsic to Extrinsic
Mindfulness Benefits
in the Work Place
Be fully aware of what is happening in the present
Tap into all your senses to see, feel, hear, taste, and smell. Even those that seem to lie dormant (e.g. intuition) or those that you weren't aware you have.
Bringing one's full attention to the present moment--to sit with what is in a non-judgemental way
To be an observer and get out of your head and your thoughts
Tap into what you are feeling physically and emotionally an be present with what you are directly experiencing
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present.
When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them as good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
It is the practice of learning to focus attention on moment-by-moment experience with an attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance.
Mindful awareness can be defined as paying attention to present moment experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is
To be mindful is to be aware of how you are in relation to others or how you move through the world. Aware of how you impact the people and things around you, including yourself. Mindfulness is a way of being and moving through the world also. It is the art of being mindful. to be present with what is without judgement to observe, to be.
Intrinsic goals are those that have to do with one's own development as a person--such as becoming competent in endeavors of one's choosing and developing a meaningful philosophy of life.
Extrinsic goals are those that have to do with material rewards and other people's judgements. They include goals of high income, status, and good looks.
In our society there is a shift from intrinsic to extrinsic goals towards a culture of materialism. This is transmitted through media exposing our young people from birth on to advertisements and other messages implying that happiness depends on good looks, popularity, and material goods.
A poll conducted annually of college freshmen shows that most students today list "being well off financially" as more important to them than "developing a meaningful philosophy of life," while the reverse was true in the 1960s and '70s.
Mindfulness essentially means moment-to-moment awareness.
When you are mindful ... you become keenly aware of yourself and your surroundings
You are aware of your own thoughts and feelings, but you do not react to them in the way that you would if you were on "autopilot".
By not labeling or judging the events and circumstances taking place around you, you are freed from your normal tendency to react to them.
Mindfulness enhances emotional intelligence, notably self-awareness and the capacity to manage distressing emotions. It also delivers these measurable benefits:
Reduces stress
Lower blood pressure
Improved memory
Less depression and anxiety.
A number of well-known companies have implemented mindfulness programs and mindful spaces for its employees.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
- Albert Einstein
One can work mindfully, parent mindfully, and learn mindfully.
- Kate Pickert, Time Magazine
McKinsey & Company
Deutsche Bank
Procter & Gamble
Astra Zeneca
General Mills
Richard Burnett at TEDxWhitechapel
Why Now??
Technology has made it easier to fracture our time into small pieces--the average American teen sends and receives more than 3,000 text messages a month.
Our devices allow us to be in many places at one time.
Sharp generational rise in young people's depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
Generational increases in anxiety and depression are related to a shift from "intrinsic" to "extrinsic" goals.
What happens
to our bodies under stress?
Hormones tip your heart to pump faster
Immune system weakens
Muscles pull in more oxygen
Senses go on high alert
Blood pressure increases
Cortisol levels increase
Mindfulness Activity 1
Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
The result of being stuck in our heads thinking, remembering, perseverating on the past or worrying about the future. Being everywhere but here in the present moment. We mostly live in the past or the future.
Stress, anxiety and depression can be tremendously reduced by learning how to be in the present moment and be with what is, even if it is sad. Sad does not equal depressed. It is important for us to express sadness, anger, fear, frustration in a healthy way so they don't build up and fester within us either consciously or unconsciously.
When we push our emotions down and even become unaware of them as they arise, we are controlled by them. This may impact what we say, do, and how we act. This may even lead to panic attacks that "come out of nowhere".
Depression and anxiety rely on repetitive thought patterns that keep us stuck. While some people might think they work better "under stress" the truth is stress doesn't always help us to make the best choices.
The constant state of dis-ease causes disease in the body due to increase levels of cortisol in the body. These increased levels suppress the immune function and causes a negative feedback loop towards anxiety and depression
Connecting with your Children
Take time to connect with your children by disconnecting from technology. As a society we're so connected to our electronic devices we miss what is occurring right now.
Listen to all they have to say about music, friends, etc. Try to listen non-judgementally. Don't invalidate their feelings, they need to feel heard by you even if you don't agree. If you start this early with younger children, it will help as they grow older.
Model healthy behaviors for your kids--be aware of what you are modeling emotionally, socially, etc.
If you are at work or dealing with something from the past or worrying about the future, it will affect the interactions you are currently having because you aren't present.
Addictions--whether it be to substances, work, relationships, food, etc.--are all about avoiding feelings and numbing out from the pain. True healing comes from going into the pain, not avoiding (and prolonging) it.
Meditation, a Mindful Practice
Meditation is used to help us strengthen our minds to become more mindful.  
Mindfulness applies meditation as a psychological and educational tool to one's whole life--not just while sitting quietly.
Meditation has been practiced by human beings for thousands of years, in one form or another, long before most of the major world religions were formed.
Meditation is as simple as breathing in and out slowly until the mind reaches a point of equilibrium, balance, harmony, and equanimity. 
Meditation is exercise for the mind and strengthens your ability to be able to sit with what is and to stay connected to the present moment.
Mindfulness Activity 2
How Does Practicing Mindfulness Change My Life?
Being mindful helps us to have clarity so that we can handle things as they come up and we don't fall apart. Learning to take things for what they are, not what we make them to be on our head.
Mindfulness helps us deepen our relationships--so we connect with each other in a real and meaningful way. It helps to be present when someone is talking to us.
Mindfulness is also being present with your feelings--connect to your feelings-- how that helps you to heal
Addiction in our culture is a lack of connecting with what we are feeling. True healing comes from sitting with and expressing emotions and moving through the pain.
Mindfulness Based Stressed Reduction (MBSR) for the past thirty-four years has shown consistent, reliable, and reproducible demonstrations of major and clinically relevant reductions in medical and psychological symptoms across a wide range of medical diagnoses.
- University of Massachusetts Medical School

Blood pressure is effectively lowered by mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for patients with borderline high blood pressure or "pre-hypertension," according to new research.

UCSB found that college students who were trained in mindfulness performed better on the verbal reasoning section of the GRE and also experienced improvements in their working memory. 

In the last ten years, significant research has shown mindfulness to address health issues such as lowering blood pressure, boosting immune system, increase attention and focus, help with anxiety and depression, emotional flexibility and empathy. 
-Dan Siegel, UCLA- Mindful Awareness Research Center

In 2009, Luders and her colleagues compared the brains of 22 mediators and 22 age-matched non-mediators and found that the mediators (who practiced a wide range of traditions and had between five and 46 years of meditation experience) had more gray matter in regions of the brain that are important for attention, emotion regulation, and mental flexibility.
- Department of Neurology at the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine
2011-12 School Year: Mindful Schools partnered with the University of California, Davis
Largest randomized-controlled study to date on mindfulness and children
937 children and 47 teachers in 3 Oakland public elementary schools. 
Children showed an increase in attention, calmness, social compliance, and caring towards others.
Research has found that Mindfulness Training for children increases attention and social emotional awareness.
Students are able to stay more focused and pay more attention in class.
Awareness of their body, thoughts, and emotions increase.
They experience less test anxiety.
Classroom management improves because mindfulness improves impulse control and interpersonal skills.
Executive function increases, a key predictor of academic success.
It has been shown effective in treating illness, anxiety, stress, and depression.
Being in the Zone
Mindfulness can also be referred to a being "in the Zone".  When you are so focused that your craft, sport, etc.  just flows from you.  This is when we perform at our best.  Not thinking or analyzing, just being 100% present and letting it flow from you.

8 Attitudes Essential to Mindfulness Practice
1.  Beginners mind (seeing things as new and fresh as if it is the first time you are seeing it. Not just taking for granted that you know it all. 

2. Non-judgment: Not labeling thoughts, feelings or sensations as good or bad, wrong or right. Just being aware of thoughts, feelings and sensations as they arise.

3. Acknowledgment: Acknowledge that things are the way they are instead of ignoring them 

4. Non-striving: No aversion to change or movement from what arises in the moment.  Not trying to get anywhere other than where you are in this moment

5. Equanimity: "balanced state";  a state of allowing rather than grasping, softening rather than tightening, giving thoughts and emotions permission to rise and pass without interference. (Shelly Young)

6. Letting Be: Let things be as they are without trying to let go of whatever is present

7. Self-reliance: You choose what is right or true based on your own experiences (i.e. not needing others approval, etc.)

8. Self-compassion: Cultivates love for yourself as you are with-out criticism or self-blame

How Mindfulness helps in relationships
1. Openness: Open to seeing another's perspective
2. Empathy: Identify with another person's feelings.  It's important to acknowledge and experience your own feelings first.
3. Compassion: Empathy combined with understanding the position the other person is in and a desire to ease the other person's suffering
4. Loving Kindness: Truly wishing others well
5. Sympathetic Joy: Delight in the joy of others- opposite of jealousy, envy, and resentment
6. Equanimity: Gives you more balance in understanding how everything is interconnected
What’s next?
Can't undo what you have done but we can create change
Forgiveness, acceptance
Being with what is, to know what those you love need, to know what you need
The tiniest shift makes a difference (dishes, driving, etc.) Remind yourself to come back to that moment
Start doing exercises that help you to be in the present moment
Resources- APP’s : Headspace, Mindjar,

More Resources
A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook by Bob Stahl & Elisha Goldstein
Moody Cow Meditates, Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean

Presented by: Janice Avalone, School Counselor & Elizabeth Cappelletti, MA, MFT
Full transcript