How mindfulness improves sleep

October 20, 2015

wildmind meditation newsAdam Hoffman, Greater Good Science Center: From the pressures of tight deadlines to anxiety about job security, the stresses of the workplace take their toll far beyond the office, infiltrating our relationships, undermining our thoughts— and often affecting our ability to sleep. In fact, a recent survey found that 85 percent of U.S. workers lose sleep due to work-related stress. And if we’re not sleeping well, it’s easier to get derailed at work and elsewhere.

However, new findings from a research team in the Netherlands suggest that even a small amount of mindfulness meditation can help calm our hyperactive minds and improve our sleep. …

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Quiet time is necessary in our loud world

October 19, 2015

wildmind meditation newsTimi Gustafson, Huffington Post: According to the 17th Century French philosopher Blaise Pascal, “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” Such a statement may sound a bit overwrought for most moderns, however, it is a well-known fact that ubiquitous exposure to noise is one of the great stress factors of our time. Unfortunately, even for those who seek it, silence is hard to come by.

To be sure, not everybody suffers from lack of quiet. Most of us are now used to being constantly connected with the outside world, with our workplace, with family and friends …

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Prison meditation program helps inmates rebuild minds, restart lives

October 16, 2015

wildmind meditation newsAllegra Abramo and Lisa Riordan Seville, NBC News: The men filed into the chapel, pulled chairs into circles, and sat. Then this corner of New Jersey’s Bayside State Prison got quiet.

A short meditation opens each weekly session of Heart-to-Heart, a mindfulness and nonviolence program run at three east coast prisons. Silence, said founder Stephen Michael Tumolo, helps bring “present moment awareness.”

That’s where he believes transformation starts.

“One thing we have choice in is where our mind is,” said Tumolo. “Present moment awareness can radically alter one’s experience in the moment. And then it can radically reshape the next steps we take.”

Gossip …

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Mindfulness: what it’s not

October 16, 2015

old padlock with key on a green wooden wallWhat is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is when we observe our experience rather than merely participate in our experience. When we’re unmindful, we’re certainly experiencing, but we’re “merely participating” in that experience, swept along in the flow of our thoughts and fantasies, caught up in thinking without being aware of what we’re doing and what effect it’s having on us, and not realizing that we have the choice to do anything else.

When we’re mindful, we observe our experience. We know that we’re thinking. We’re aware of what effect our thinking is having (for example that it’s making us or others unhappy). We’re aware we have choices about what we do and what we think.

And that’s … Read more »

After meditation, self-critical people ease up

October 15, 2015

wildmind meditation newsAnn Lukits, Wall Street Journal: Self-critical people were significantly kinder and more compassionate toward themselves after practicing lovingkindness meditation compared with a control group, according to a pilot study in Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy. The technique, rooted in Buddhism, may help to reduce symptoms of depression, the researchers suggest.

Lovingkindness is a form of meditation designed to cultivate feelings of warmth and kindness to all people, including oneself, the researchers said. Practicing the technique may activate a soothing-caring regulation system that is probably deficient in chronic self-critics, they suggest.

Self-critical perfectionism is implicated in a number of psychological conditions, such as eating disorders, and can …

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To help students focus, we could use less medication and more meditation

October 13, 2015

wildmind meditation newsMichigan Radio: There is a lot of pressure in schools these days.

From the early grades through high school, students take tests and then more tests and shuffle from one extracurricular activity to the next, all while many are also trying to navigate instability at home.

Budget worries keep countless administrators up at night, and, says Rita Benn, director of the Faculty Scholars Program in integrative health care at University of Michigan’s Department of Family Medicine, about 50% of teachers leave within the first five years because it’s so stressful.

Benn, who is also co-founder of the Michigan Collaborative for Mindfulness in Education, says meditation …

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Why “Do you meditate?” is the wrong question

October 12, 2015

wildmind meditation newsDavid Mochel, Huffington Post: Do you meditate? This question seems to be all the rage in popular media, and it is rapidly becoming a point of prestige among the high earning, high performing, corporate tech crowd. I have nothing against mediation – I do it regularly. However, I still think that “do you meditate?” is not the most helpful question.

One of the modern misconceptions about mindfulness meditation is that it is synonymous with relaxation. The reality is that when you practice paying attention, you may experience a relaxed state and you may not. Just like life. And this is okay. The goal is to …

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Mindfulness is the easiest and hardest thing to practice

October 7, 2015

wildmind meditation newsRyan M. Niemiec, Psy.D, Psych Central: Allow me to explain this paradox; and then I’ll provide 5 tips to help you with your practice.

Look at your right hand. See the shades of color in your skin? Notice the lines on your palm and the lines that separate the segments of your fingers? Easy to see, right? You just brought mindfulness to your right hand in this moment.

Now, consider the task of facing your deepest grief and sorrow. Or reflect on how it might be for you to bring your attention to extreme physical pain, hour after hour. Much more difficult to bring your …

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Mindfulness: the common thread

October 5, 2015

wildmind meditation newsGarrett Heaney, Montpelier Bridge: Over the past few years, in my quest to become a perfect human, I have sought a number of different therapies, therapists, counselors, and programming — each with its own specific agenda in attending to my mental health. Through it all has been a common thread that seems to tie together each of these individual disciplines in mental health. This thread, of course, is “mindfulness.”

It seems no matter where I was physically or mentally, whether battling depression, partying too much, or sitting in a weekly session of dialectical behavioral therapy, the concept of mindfulness was always right there in the …

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Seven tips to practice mindfulness & reasons why you should

October 2, 2015

wildmind meditation newsPhoebe Waller, Bustle: A few months ago I had no idea what mindfulness was. In fact, I thought it was just being aware of how you interact with and talk to others. It wasn’t until I started researching tips for practicing mindfulness and having a little experiment with it that I realized what all the fuss was about.

The Dictionary describes mindfulness in a couple of ways, with the first being, “The state or quality of being mindful or aware of something” and “a technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging …

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