Category: Helpful techniques

Is Mindfulness Science or Woo Woo?

 

 Mindfulness researchers

What have you heard about Mindfulness? Do you think that there is any sound basis for Mindfulness Science that has been tested rigorously or is it Woo Woo stuff that people only imagine doing any good in their lives?

If you don’t know about it, do you want to find out?

 Jon Kabat-Zinn

As a young doctor, Jon Kabat-Zinn had visited the East. He became convinced that some of the elements of Buddhism could be useful in treating his patients with chronic severe pain. He gradually developed skills that allowed him to create the MBSR program: Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He downplayed any direct connection between Buddhism and Mindfulness, focusing on the non-secular aspects of Buddha’s books.

MBSR is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, the eventual outcome of Kabat-Zinn’s efforts. This course has been available online for several years.

Since the 1970’s Mindfulness began popping up everywhere. It has been used in business (Google), hospitals, schools, etc.,

A large number of people say IT WORKS!

In offices, it can be done unobtrusively at your desk or while waiting in the queue, riding the bus (NEVER DRIVING).

His claims are based on the scientifically proven fact that Mindfulness can help ordinary people like you cope with stress, anxiety, pain, and illness, and also to discover wonderful insights the more you practice.

There are other brilliant teachers that I will share with you along the way to happiness.

Here is the man himself saying it better than anyone else. I was mesmerized the first time I heard him. It takes about 12 minutes.

IT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE!

The Present State of affairs

The Oxford Centre for Mindfulness has found that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) prevents depression in-patients who have experienced recurrent depression. For people who have experienced three or more previous episodes of depression, MBCT reduces the recurrence rate over 12 months by 40–50% compared with usual care. (Crane C et al, “The effects of the amount of home meditation practice in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy on relapse to depression in the Staying Well after Depression Trial”, Behaviour Research and Therapy, 2014).

MBCT is as effective at reducing recurrence as antidepressants (Williams et al, “Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy”) for preventing relapse in recurrent depression:

A recent online course in Mindfulness among nearly 300 people revealed these statistics:

A 58% reduction in anxiety levels
A 57% reduction in depression
A 40% reduction in stress
Other research has shown that Mindfulness can reduce stress in work-related rumination, chronic fatigue and improvements in sleep quality, especially for people in stressful jobs.

The areas in which Mindfulness is being trialed is growing:

Business

Schools

Autistic Spectrum

Young people

Physical Health

Criminal Justice – Mindfulness practice within criminal justice settings is currently being developed around the country. In HMP Brixton a “Mind/Body Workout Group” was established to help individuals to develop their own mindfulness practice.

Pregnancy -“Effects of a mindfulness-based intervention during pregnancy on prenatal stress and mood: results of a pilot study”, Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 2008.

Workplace – The most famous example is Google. Other companies have adopted Mindfulness practice to improve concentration. Read the article from Mindful Magazine about how it is being a Google employee and how willing the workers were to take the course, an almost ‘I want what you have’ approach. Even cynics were impressed.

Here comes a long list of events that lower your Happiness levels. How do YOU handle them?

Childhood Traumas

Death or a loss

Divorce (or loss)

Redundancy

Loneliness

Moving house

Getting a new job (you’d think this could only be good)

Financial concerns

Social circumstances

Abuse (physical, mental)

Overworking

Giving birth

Unemployment

Menopause

Finishing school

Brain injury

Underactive thyroid

Cushing’s syndrome

Celiac disease

Fibromyalgia

Kidney disease

Pyrrole disorder

Cancer

Heart disease

Crohn’s disease

Candida overgrowth

Arthritis

Multiple Sclerosis

Lupus

Chronic self-criticism

Debilitating guilt and shame

Being criticised and repeatedly invalidated

Perfectionism

Ruminative thinking (see Home and above)

Negative bias

Learned Helplessness

Predisposition based on family history

Deficiency in Vitamin D (sunshine)

Deficiency in B complex

Deficiency in Omega 3 fatty acids

Deficiency in Iron

Deficiency in amino acid

Deficiency in Zinc

Deficiency in Foliate

Deficiency in Selenium

Deficiency in Magnesium

Deficiency in Iodine

Hormonal contraception

Opioids

It’s a Wonder that Anyone is Happy!!!!! BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF or you can’t fix it.

If any of these apply to you, then Mindfulness will help you to make it not matter just so much.

‘Current literature points towards the potential for mindfulness to affect the structure and neural patterns present in the brain. Scientists have seen these results last not only during mindfulness practice but also during the daily life of practitioners. The results of one study published in NeuroReport in 2005 show thicker cortical regions related to attention and sensory processing in long-term meditation practitioners compared to non-meditators. These findings also suggest that meditation practice may offset cortical thinning brought on by aging’

(Brief Summary of Mindfulness Research by Greg Flaxman and Lisa Flook, Ph.D.)

THAT’S FOR ME!

Until fairly recently no one believed the brain could change over time. Your brain did not develop through your life. The exciting news is that the brain has plasticity and can actually change. This fact was not known until very recently. And Mindfulness Meditation can change your brain and so can change your own behaviour. We are now squarely in the realms of Neuroscience.

DREAD OF THE SHOWER

I went on the Smithsonian site and I saw articles flashing past. One was entitled, “Why Mind Wandering Can Be So Miserable, According to Happiness Experts” by one of their staffers, Libby Copeland. She is gloomy and anxious at the prospect of a shower. It sounds silly but maybe you can think of something you are irrationally afraid of. Libby is ripe for some Mindfulness training.
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-mind-wandering-can-be-so-miserable-according-happiness-experts-180962265

shower can cause problems where, meditation may help

 

The scientists say that we spend 47% of our waking hours mind-wandering. Nearly half! I know my mind drifts off even when I am watching a movie thriller. I also know I used to be much worse when I was working a primary school teacher. I hardly ever got jobs done to my satisfaction. Then the tendency is to beat yourself up about it.

You will be interested to know that we pay most attention (i.e., showing Mindfulness) during sex. We spent the most, 67%, in grooming behaviors.

WANDERING IS WHAT MINDS DO. (Take this to heart)

Tracy

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    Baking Your Way to Calm

    Mindfulness Baking Therapy – YUM

    As well as helping individuals tackle some their bad habits, Mindfulness can enhance any activity you choose like baking. (I have even pegged out the washing mindfully!)

    Food preparation and baking ranks as one of the most enjoyable and creative energy outlets, even if you have never stepped foot in the kitchen area. You need not be a baker or a cook to gain the health and wellness benefits of baking listed here. Making something homemade, and even semi-homemade for a pal, family member, or a special someone, could go a long way to keeping you satisfied and emotionally sound.

    Research published in the Journal of Positive Psychology late last year found that individuals who regularly attempt little imaginative projects record having a greater state of mental health and wellness as well as functioning. In an extra recent research study, it was discovered that little bursts of creativity each day can go a lengthy way in the direction of protecting your happiness and fulfilment as you hustle and bustle in your day-to-day life.

    Even when baking, our brain has endless capacity for Mindfulness change

    1. Baking/cooking keeps you concentrated on the task at hand in the moment. Given that cooking is a very accurate science, it offers to put aside all of the negative feelings or fears you may be presently experiencing. Your full focus is required, so your mind should not wander off into scary territory. If it does so, it is less complicated to reclaim your focus.
    Cooking is a calming tool aiding stress reduction. Just slicing up veggies with a knife could distract you from disappointments. If you attempt your hand at cooking, a rolling pin works wonders.

    2. Cooking educates you concerning mindfulness. It Trains you remain in the present moment and, by so doing, to appreciate every second of it.
    Food preparation could enhance your selflessness. Instead of concentrating on yourself, when you are making something for others, your focus normally shifts in the direction of other individuals, and making them satisfied. Inviting others for a homemade dish, despite just as it comes out, (secure as a backup works marvels as well!) makes others around you not only more satisfied and relaxed yet additionally puts a smile on your face, too. This happens because we tend to mimic the behaviour of those in our immediate setting.

    3. Food preparation, besides being restorative, can also be introspective. Probably the recurring spin of your standing mixer or your hand can cause you to obtain a semi-calming trance, which in fact assists you to maintain your concentration. All of these focussing qualities are much like those found in various types of meditations all over the globe.

    4. Baking boosts your endorphin levels. As you gather the ingredients you have to visualise your recipe. As you engage your five senses with touch and smell for instance, your degree of dopamine gets triggered, therefore triggering the rewards and enjoyment centres of your mind.
    Accomplishing beneficial tasks usually makes you feel much better. Psycho- therapists and researchers alike have found a definite link between any kind of kind of imaginative expression and one’s mental health, state of mind, and also general well being.

    Attempting something brand-new and getting out of your comfort zone not only makes you feel confident, but simultaneously you have the added bonus of exercising your brain muscle mass, and also increasing your cognitive skills. New neuronal links are constructed which help your mind remain sharp.
    It is important to keep in mind that baking/cooking isn’t for everybody, so if you are truly stressed by the prospect, merely stop, as continuing the job defeats the whole purpose. Discover some other innovative task for you to engage in that makes you feel established, yet calm. Knitting, painting the deck, planting in the yard– the listing of activities are limitless so it is best to participate in something you can truly enjoy. The moment is ripe to experiment with your imaginative juices to keep you really feeling at your absolute best!Mindfulness in baking

    Tracy

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      Happiness is easier to gain if you practice Mindfulness Meditation

      DREADED HABITS SOLVED WITH MEDITATION

      Hello fellow bloggers and Mindfulness peeps,

      This situation is driving me bonkers. The revered Smithsonian magazine keeps sending me renewal forms when I have already paid. As it is we were getting two copies monthly after the balls-up they made the last time I dealt with them. I fear they will send three copies at a time. The doctors’ and dentists’ offices will be flooded with them. Does this happen to you?

      However,

      The reason I am telling this is because I went on the Smithsonian site and I saw articles flashing past. One was entitled, “Why Mind Wandering Can Be So Miserable, According to Happiness Experts” by one of their staffers, Libby Copeland. She is gloomy and anxious at the prospect of a shower. It sound silly but maybe you can think of something you are irrationally afraid of. Libby is ripe for some Mindfulness training.

      brass shower with water gushing out
      ​The scary shower

      The article, written by a sceptic of mindful meditation, concerns the times in our daily lives when we realise that the mind is trying, usually ineffectually, to deal with matters beyond our control. Some of your multitasking is easy (remember to post that birthday card for your sister) other problems seem to have no solution (if your mother needs a care package). Or a past thought might be,” I know she doesn’t like me because…”This is Unmindfulness. You cannot do anything about these things at the moment.

      If you are driving your car, you will not remember any scenery or landmarks because you are never aware of your ‘present.’ You skipped past the buzzard hanging in the sky, the yellow gorse flowers persisting even in the coldest weather, the sign for the plowing contest next week and so on… This attention in the moment is Mindfulness.

      Mindfulness Meditation helps us to notice things in the moment. Gorse flowers smell like coconut. What a surprise to find that out!

      Gorse flowers blooming in winter makes me meditate

       

      The scientists say that we spend 47% of our waking hours mind-wandering. Nearly half! I know my mind drifts off even when I am watching a movie thriller. I also know I used to be much worse when I was working a primary school teacher. I hardly ever got jobs done to my satisfaction. Then the tendency is to beat yourself up about it.

      You will be interested to know that we pay most attention (I.e., showing Mindfulness) during sex. We spent the most 67% in grooming behaviours.

      WANDERING IS WHAT MINDS DO. (Take this to heart)

      So what about poor Libby? She knew that when she got in the shower, all her worst fears and worries would boil up. It had become a habit and so she hated showering. I think that is too bad because showers, except for baths, are the most calming, Mindfully expressing things we can do for ourselves. I have to try out my disco spinning lights gadget my daughter gave me for Christmas. Promise you won’t put tealights around your bath or you may be shocked out of your meditation.

      Well, with anxious apprehension, Libby stepped into the shower. She kept her attention on her breathing and felt different.

      “As she says, the trick is in recognizing the illusion—

      “‘ah yes, there’s that ridiculous clown car of anxiety coming down the road again.

      The saving grace, when I can manage to focus, is the present moment.”
      Meditation #mindfulness #meditation in the moment.

      ​Tracy

      Superpower logo of Mindfulness

       

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        DREADED HABITS SOLVED WITH MEDITATION

        23+ Bad Things Happen When You Smartphone

        23+ Ways to Tell:  Are You Addicted to Your Smartphone?

        Research study recommends it’s unlikely that smartphones or base stations enhance the danger of problems of health. This is the advice released by the National Health Service UK.

        There’s still some uncertainty regarding the potential for risks from long-term use over years, and research study on this is ongoing.
        A few of the primary safety and security worries associated with radio waves as well as cellphone usage are reviewed below.

        Using a smartphone while driving or riding a motorbike can increase your possibilities of having a accident by up to 4 times. This is the largest risk posed by mobile phones. Using a handheld phone while driving is also illegal.

        Radio wave direct exposure

        Mobile phone with red screen and the time 15:46

        Radio waves generated by smartphones travel in all directions to discover the closest base station. This suggests that several of the radio waves are routed through your body when you use a mobile phone.

        Radio waves are soaked up into your body cells as energy, which adds to the energy being produced by your body’s metabolic rate.

        Concerns have increased that exposure to radio wave radiation might trigger various health issues, varying from cancer and infertility to non-specific but undesirable symptoms.
        Nonetheless, the only recognized impact of radio waves on the body is an extremely tiny rise in temperature of approximately 0.2 C. This approaches natural boosts in temperature level, such as through workout. This doesn’t pose any danger to health.

        Unlike extra powerful ionizing radiation, which is linked with issues such as cancer cells, radio waves are not thought to harm or change the DNA in human cells.

        Absorption levels

        Levels of direct exposure to radio waves from smartphones are quantified as particular absorption rates (SAR). SAR is a measure of the quantity of energy taken in.
        The systems of dimension are watts each kg (W/kg) or milliwatts each gram (mW/g). The greater the SAR, the greater energy your body is taking in as well as the bigger rise in temperature level.
        Some smartphones have reduced particular absorption rates more than others. You can obtain this info from your smartphones supplier or seller.

        Dangers to children

        If there are any kind of health and wellness risks from making use of smartphones, children may be extra at risk because their bodies and also nerve systems are still developing.
        Research carried out to date hasn’t sustained a link between smartphones usage and childhood cancers cells such as leukemia.
        If you have any type of problems, you can decrease your youngster’s exposure to radio waves by only enabling them to use smartphones for particular objectives and keeping telephone calls short.

        Cellphone base stations

        The balance of evidence currently offered doesn’t suggest there’s a risk to people living or working near base stations. Base stations don’t require planning permission prior to masts being erected.
        Educational establishments must keep an eye on the discharges of base stations located inside or near school grounds.
        If you think a base station near you should be audited, you can request it to be checked by the Office of Communications or equivalent.

        However, do not become complacent.

        Here are the signs and symptoms of smartphone addiction:

        Smartphone addiction is not yet noted in the Diagnostic and also Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5).However, the research study has compared it to gambling addiction, which has more clear analysis criteria as well as is included in the DSM-5.

        At least 4 of the adhering to signs and symptoms are thought to consist of requirements for smartphone addiction, and also the problematic smartphone overuse have to cause significant injury to the person’s life:

        1) A need to use the smartphone more and more in order to achieve the very same desired result.

        2 )Relentlessly stopping work to make use of a smartphone.

        3) Preoccupation with smartphone use.

        4) Counts on a smartphone when experiencing undesirable feelings such as stress and anxiety or clinical depression.

        5) Extreme use characterized by loss of feeling of time.

        6) Has put a partnership or job in danger due to excessive smartphone use.

        7) Need for the newest smartphone, more applications, or boosted usage.

        Withdrawal, when smartphone network is unreachable.

        1) Rage

        2) Tension.

        3) Depression.

        4) Impatience.

        5) Uneasiness.

        If you or a loved one shows these symptoms and signs of smartphone addiction #addiction, this person needs treatment.

        Physical Effects of Addiction.

        Digital eye strain

        1)The pain and discomfort related to seeing a digital display for over 2 hours

        2) Eyes start to burn and itch.

        3) Blurred vision.

        4) Eye exhaustion.

        5) Digital Eye Strain can trigger headaches.

        Neck Problems

        6) Known as “text neck,” which refers to neck discomfort resulting from looking down at cell phone or tablet for too long.

        Increased illness

        7 1 in 6 cellular phone has fecal matter on it.
        8) E. coli bacteria, which can cause fever, vomiting, and looseness of the bowels, is discovered on many phones.
        9) Phones have been shown to be contaminated with MRSA. Causes painful abscesses. Serious infections in bones, joints, medical injuries, bloodstream, heart valves, and lungs.

        Automobile accidents

        10) Lots of people believe that they can multitask and use their phones while driving, yet this causes substantial problems and also places the driver and others on the road at risk.
        11) Research has revealed that texting and also driving can be just as dangerous as alcohol consumption and driving.
        12) Male infertility. Preliminary studies have revealed that cell phone radiation might decrease sperm matter, sperm motility as well as viability.

        Emotional Effects of Smartphone Addiction.

        13) Sleep disturbances #smartphone addiction has been linked to an increase in sleep disorders as well as fatigue in individuals.
        14) Using your smartphone before bed enhances the possibility of sleeplessness.
        15) Brilliant light of the screen may lower sleep quality.
        16) Smartphone use could increase the amount of time it requires to go to sleep.
        17) The light given off from the smartphone may stimulate the brain.
        18) Depression.
        19) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
        20) Relationship problems.
        21) Offline relationships could suffer as a result of an extreme mobile phone and social media site use.

        22) Anxiety

        One expert has likened each use of the smartphone as a hit of cocaine.

        Gorse flowers blooming in winter

        Is this evidence enough to encourage those you to help someone, or indeed, yourself to use a smartphone less?
        If you are practicing Mindfulness, there is so much to see around and about you. That is fascinating to study closely, living and inanimate. If you get close, these gorse flowers smell like. coconut.

        Can you do anything about this problem? YES

        If you seem like you can not leave your phone or your tablet computer for more than a few minutes at a time, you’re not the only one.
        The most significant trouble with the quantity of screentime we involve with, according to Adam Alter, is that it has removed our ability to limit time. This is called a “stopping cue.” We are losing our ability to hear the cues since our phones provide us with limitless amounts of information and also, for some, limitless home entertainment.
        Just what occurs when we read a publication or a paper is that we eventually get to the end of the article and we put it away and then go on to the next activity in our day. (This fact resonates with me when start a 15-minute job on the computer. When I look up, two hours have flicked past.)
        When we sit with our mobile phones, tablets, or laptop computers for any length of time, it ends up being a struggle for us to stop and leave. There’s always another thing to see, do, review, like, as well as talk about, but it’s not really making us happier. This is the rally wasteful aspect of your addiction.

        The dependency is real. In accordance with researchers summarizing neuro-imaging searchings for in internet dependency:

        ” Taken with each other,internet dependency is associated with structural as well as functional changes in mind areas involving emotional processing, executive interest, decision making, and also cognitive control.”

        Basically, excessive screen-time shows up to affect brain framework and also its features. The majority of this damage occurs in the mind’s frontal cortex, which is an area of the brain that can impact every area of life– from a sense of health to academic or job success to relationship skills.

        So exactly how can you limit your screen-time?
        One means is to remove your phone from within your reach. Similar to how the television remote remains firmly planted on the TV stand across the room since you do not want to get up to get it, you could leave your phone in a spot away from you.
        By developing an obstacle to access, you can minimize the amount of time you utilize your screens.

        Another way to conquer your screentime obsession is to create rules for yourself wherein you leave your phone in your home if you are going to dinner with good friends, or if you are running errands.

        Fifteen years ago people couldn’t reach you while you were grocery store shopping, why is it so important that they do so today at this moment?

        Lastly, try working without taking your phone to your job. When you rise and leave for the day, decide that you are not going to respond to e-mails on your phone until the following day.
        This may be tough for some, yet establishing those limits could give your hours of your life back you really did not realise you had actually wasted.

        Tracy

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