Benefits of Mindfulness
- to be fully present and engaged with your surroundings
- to experience unpleasant thoughts and feelings without reacting to them
- to become aware of what you’re avoiding
- to become more connected to yourself, to others and to the world around you
- to increase self-awareness
- to learn the distinction between you and your thoughts
- to contact reality as it is in the present, instead of your history dictating your perception.
- to learn that everything changes; that thoughts and feelings come and go just like waves
- to have more balance, less emotional volatility
- to experience more calm and peacefulness
- to develop self-acceptance and self-compassion
Loving the other without losing yourself
By Christopher Germer
Mindfulness practice Audio: Tara Brach
Crane, C (2014). The effects of amount of home meditation practice in mindfulness based cognitive therapy on hazard of relapse to depression in the staying well after depression trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy.
Interested in how mindfulness practice can impact depressive symptoms? One study found that major depression relapse rates were negatively associated with the amount of mindfulness practice participants engaged in at home. By the end of one year, 58% of the participants who practiced less than 3 times a week had major depressive relapses, while only 39% of those who practiced 3 or more times a week relapsed.
UCLA Mindful Awareness Center Click here for a 5 minute guided meditation that focuses on breath.
Vidyamala Burch & Dr. Danny Penman
In the book "Mindfulness for Health," Dr Danny Penman and Vidyamala Burch illustrate that for subjects with chronic pain, the consistent practice of mindfulness produced a greater reduction in pain than standard doses of morphine and other pain-relieving drugs. Here is a link to an article describing their findings.
"When living with pain, illness or stress, we tend to spend much of our time worrying, analyzing, and trying to apply problem-solving techniques to our difficulty, with very little awareness of our actual sensations in the moment. The ability to think, analyze and reflect is of course a vital human skill, but we often overuse this part of our mind to try and ‘think’ our way out of our pain, and this mental activity tends to keep us trapped in secondary suffering."
After two serious spinal injuries, Vidyamala Burch found herself facing the loneliness of disability and chronic pain with few skills or resources to turn to. But instead of giving up, she set out on a mission to embrace her physical challenges with compassion, acceptance, and peace.
Living Well with Pain and Illness shares the fruits of her courageous life’s work, teaching us how the practice of mindfulness can help us thrive in the face of health challenges of any kind. Drawing on the wisdom of a dozen years of teaching meditation and a lifetime of study of the benefits of mindful living, Vidyamala encourages readers with insights and instruction.
Chronic pain has been called the modern world’s silent epidemic. Billions are spent every year in an attempt to cope, yet the best solution available may be absolutely free: mindful living. In Living Well with Pain and Illness, Vidyamala Burch presents a work that is at once an inspirational memoir and practical guidebook for using mindfulness to reframe your relationship with physical and emotional suffering.
Here is a guided meditation exploring the three diaphragms that are important in full body breathing.
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