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Mindfulness

mindfulnessMindfulness is paying attention in a non-judgemental way to what is happening in the present moment, what is happening in our mind, our body, our thoughts, our emotions and what stories we are telling ourselves and others.

Focus is on what is happening not why.

Science behind this: When we use mindfulness meditation it helps us to switch from the alarm of facing a threat (ie the flight or fight response) to a calming response. When we are in flight or fight the hormone Cortisol is released to provide increased sugar levels for the body to use to get away from the threat. However Cortisol can have an affect on the Amygdala, the area of the brain that processes fear and threat, therefore strengthening negative networks in the brain which have a compounding affect.

Mindfulness meditation shifts the focus from thinking about the threat to simply examining how the body is responding to the threat. It takes a “scientific, removed approach” which should have a calming effect, reducing Cortisol in your brain.

Through Mindfulness meditation you check in with how your body is going, if there is fear you ask yourself – what does this fear look like? What areas of your body is it affecting, what are the physical sensations, do they move, what thoughts are arising out of the fear, what stories am I telling myself. It is like a scientific questioning process that pulls the focus out of the emotional, away from focussing on the threat. It is a stepping back, a non-judgemental questioning technique that shifts the focus and soothes the body and mind.

Mindfulness meditation is not a relaxing meditation, it is opening up to whatever arises. It is also not positive thinking, it is about opening up to all of the experience – the good, bad and neutral. Its purpose is not to find out why, but simply a shift of focus.

 

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