What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the monitoring
of one’s attention as one tunes into present moment sensory information. It can
be a sound , a sensation, the feeling of a physical movement or something
visual. With practice it can be the awareness of the movement of thought. It
can be a single focus or a multi-focus. You can be aware of the warmth of the
sun on your face and the sounds of your footsteps. The art is to bring your
attention gently back to your focus when you become aware that your attention
Mindfulness boosts the brain
The theory that meditation can reduce stress, depression
and even chronic pain is one that has been gaining in momentum in recent years.
So the BBC's David Sillito has been
learning the art of mindfulness meditation in order to find out for himself.
After getting to grips with the activity, he joined some
other devotees for an MRI scan to find out what impact
the practice can have on brain activity.
How to meditate
Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe guides you through a mindfulness exercise that he
says will help you worry less, enjoy daily life more and get on better with the
people around you.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Management
Dr Craig Hassed
is a General Practitioner and Senior Lecturer at the Monash University
Department of General Practice. His teaching, research and clinical interests
include mindfulness-based stress management, mind-body medicine, meditation,
holistic healthcare, health promotion, integrative medicine and medical ethics.
Craig is the founding president of the Australian Teachers of Meditation
Association and is regularly invited to speak and run courses in Australia and overseas. He
is a regular media commentator, writes regularly for medical journals and has
published five books
Dr Hassed has presented on Mindful Leadership.
Reflect on this graphic prepared by Rebecca Lazenby. Rebecca
does this work full time and is trying to develop a community of graphic
recorders/visual facilitators in Australia and extend the reach of visual practice
in the corporate and not for profit worlds.
0423 973 550
Teach Children Mindfulness
For an introduction to the
scientific evidence of the benefits of mindfulness, start with
Fredrickson, B.L., Coffey, K.A.,
Pek, J., Cohn, M.A., & Finkel, S.M. (2008). Open Hearts Build Lives: Positive Emotions, Induced Through
Loving-Kindness Meditation, Build Consequential Personal Resources. Journal
of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1045-1062. Jencke, W. (2010). Meditative exercise. Positive Psychology News Daily.
This following article has another example of everyday mindfulness as well as a
number of additional references. Johnson, D. P., Penn, D. L.,
Fredrickson, B. L., Kring, A. M., Meyer, P. S., Catalino, L. I., &
Brantley, M. (2011). A pilot study of loving-kindness meditation for the negative
symptoms of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 129, 137-140.
Kristeller and Wolever (2011).
Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training for Treating Binge Eating Disorder:
The Conceptual Foundation. Eating Disorders, 19, 49-61.