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Mindfulness for Empowerment
Transcript of Mindfulness for Empowerment
Dr Graeme Nixon
Learning by doing?
4 areas of impact, all linked to increased activity and thickening of brain areas:
1. Sustained attention and better attentional control
2. Enhanced awareness
3. Emotional regulation, greater control over the limbic cortex, gives us more executive control.
4. Expanded sense of identity and greater sense of our connections to others
Neuroscience provides objective evidence that supports first person accounts.
Some of the benefits of mindfulness practice:
Relaxation and calming down.
Remedying short attention span and improving concentration.
Diminishing anxiety and low mood.
Enhancing clarity of thinking.
Combating impulsivity; recognizing that the there is a space between ourselves and our actions (many of us are trapped in reactionary patterns of behaviour)
Developing self-compassion and empathy for others
Reducing stress and enhancing well being.
Improving thinking, which is more effective and sustained.
Freedom through self-awareness
What mindfulness is not:
emptying the mind
“As clients learn to observe, consciously and non judgementally, their habitual action tendencies, it becomes possible to experiment with developing new more adaptive tendencies”
(Reach as developmental tendency , Pat Ogden)
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
(T.S Eliot, The Rock)
Settling the Monkey Mind...
Our attention and experience is divided
We are living in a world of thought
We rob ourselves of precious life experiences
We are shaped by habitual, reactive patterns
Not just meditation...
Yoga, Tai chi, Chi gong
Washing the dishes
Any activity we engage in
But…deliberately setting time aside to practice bringing awareness to the experience
‘Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention in a particular way. . .
- on purpose
- in the present moment
…to the unfolding of experience moment by moment’
Jon Kabat-Zinn 2003
Managing and surviving change in yourself: Mindfulness
Deviance or Organisational Citizenship
Cynicism or Engagement
Mindfulness develops and enhances psychological capital
Becoming more mindful of one’s thoughts and emotional response patterns
can be a source for altering them and therefore be important to supporting positive
organizational change. For example, if an employee becomes more aware of a
pessimistic thinking pattern regarding changes at work, potentially through practicing
greater mindfulness, this employee can use self-monitoring to identify unproductive
thinking habits and choose more positive interpretations, thus reducing negative
emotions over time. This reduction happens as mindfulness moves the individual
from being embedded in their thinking to being able to step outside and observe it.
As Bandura (1991) points out: “People cannot influence their own motivation and
actions very well if they do not pay adequate attention to their own performances”
(p. 250). (Avey et al 2008)